Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Protective measures to stay in place

Kelowna - Everyone in the Okanagan along foreshore should leave flood protection measures in place

While many residents living away from the the foreshore of Okanagan Lake are now permitted to remove protective measures flood protection defences on both private and public property along the foreshore are expected to stay in place for an extended period of time due to high lake levels.

Gusty winds and high lake levels continue to cause wave action pounding sandbags, gabion cages and tiger dams set up by residents and local governments across the region.

Everyone along the foreshore should leave their flood protection measures in place and check on them daily. As needed, repair and replace them to ensure adequate protection from wave generated erosion and flooding.

Residents are asked to call 250-469-8493 if they notice large debris that has the potential to compromise protective measures.

This morning Environment and Climate Change Canada reported Okanagan Lake at 343.202 metres above sea level, a 5 millimetre decrease over the 343.207 metre level measured yesterday morning. Okanagan Lake has decreased approximately 5 cms from its highest recorded level of 343.25 this flood season and remains 72 cms above full pool which is 342.48.

The level of Kalamalka Lake this morning was recorded at 392.366 metres, down 14 mm from the 392.380 metre mark yesterday morning. Kalamalka Lake remains 67 cm above full pool.

Residents are reminded that lake levels may fluctuate up and down based on the weather and ground water may remain high for a period of time.

Local governments are now planning for the removal of sandbags on private and public properties no longer at risk. There will be no cost to residents. Currently crews are demobilizing protective measures on public infrastructure as time permits and are expected to begin demobilizing protective measures on private properties next week.

Removals will take place inland away from Okanagan Lake and on creeks outside current flood advisory areas. Please reference this map to locate properties located outside the Flood Alert Zone.

With the exception of the foreshore, sandbags along properties that have not been in contact with water for at least two weeks are considered safe to be removed. These areas include:

Mill Creek – upstream of Pandosy Street

Brandts Creek – upstream of Richter Street

Fascieux Creek – upstream of Gordon Drive

Scotty Creek – all

Middle Vernon Creek – upstream of Woodsdale Road

A coordinated approach for the collection and disposal of sandbags will ensure the safest and most efficient way, minimizing ecological impact to property, creeks, streams, area lakes, wildlife habitat and ensuring the health of citizens.

Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied on beaches or into any creeks, wetland, beaches or other watercourses. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities. Report violations to Natural Resource at 1 877-952-7277, or toll-free or #7277 on a cellphone.

Residents wanting to drop of their own sandbags at their cost can do so at the following depots:

Kelowna

Cook Road Boat Launch outside the Hotel Eldorado – Mission

Burtch Road – Apple Bowl Parking Lot

District of Lake Country

Woodsdale Road – Beasley Park Parking Lot

For more information contact the information office at 250-469-8490 or 1-877-569-8490 (toll-free) or sign up for e-updates online.

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