Salmon River upgraded to flood warning status

BC River Forecast Centre predicts record stream flows due to rainfall.

Things do not look promising for people whose properties are threatened by flooding from the Salmon River.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the B.C. River Forecast Centre added the Salmon River to its list of flood warnings. The Shuswap was previously listed under a wide-spread category of flood watch.

“Following several days of warm weather and rapid snowmelt, Wednesday has transitioned into rainy weather through much of the BC Interior,” states the flood warning. “As of Wednesday afternoon, the largest rainfall amounts have been through the Okanagan, Boundary and Salmon Arm regions, with rainfall amounts in the 5- to 30-millimeter range being observed.”

It stated river levels began responding to the rainfall Wednesday and rapid rises in levels were expected through Wednesday and into Thursday.

Related: Silver Creek residents return home

The Salmon River was listed as a ‘key river,’ flowing at 60 cubic metres per second with peak flows of approximately 65 to 75 cubic metres forecast for Thursday. The Thursday flows are listed as 50-year to 100-year events.

Then, while warm temperatures forecast for the weekend may be welcomed by gardeners and outdoors enthusiasts, they may also be a key ingredient in a perfect recipe for more flooding.

The higher temperatures – predicted in the mid- to high-20s for Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Salmon Arm – could add to the rapid melt of the larger than average snow pack.

Earlier in the week, David Campbell with B.C.’s River Forecast Centre said the snow pack is, on average, “168 per cent of normal across the province.”

Related: Silver Creek rallies to battle flooding

Combined with mid-week rain, the predicted snow melt may add to high water levels.

“So it could be another challenging week in terms of flows across the Interior,” Campbell said.

Last Saturday, May 6, Silver Creek residents Kris and Laise Reeb and their three young children abandoned their home of less than a year when a creek breached the large berm around their property on Johnson Road. They are living in Kamloops until water levels recede.

Farther south in the 500 block of Salmon River Road, residents like Maria Otting and Thomas Koppel have been sandbagging and pumping water for days and weeks in an effort to hold off the floods that burst into their homes last April. Still farther, in the 1600 block of Salmon River Road where residents were evacuated last year, work continues on Haines Creek. On April 22, 2017, residents of 10 properties there were under evacuation order overnight after water began flowing over the road near the community park.

Related: Silver Creek flood leaves questions

Tom Hansen, emergency program coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, said provincial crews were back working on drainage in that area. He’s requested assessment of the slopes above and watercourse from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations by a qualified professional.

Closer to Falkland, the bridge on Dear Road on the way to Falkland was flooded Wednesday, so residents were being asked to avoid that.

In Salmon Arm, residents have been eyeing the Salmon River Bridge near DeMille’s Farm Market all week as water licks at the underside of the bridge deck.

“The river has reached this level and higher a number of times in the past,” stated an email from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure earlier in the week. It noted that a ministry bridge manager had been on site to assess the bridge. “There is no immediate threat to the bridge and it remains open.”

Related: Canoe home saved from flooding

To the west, this year Sorrento is again seeing water damage undercutting the banks on Caen Road. Water also flowed over Dieppe Road, exposing a gas line.

Hansen said officials are reviewing the Sunnybrae side of the lake where mudslides devastated an area last year, leaving one resident dead. He said a community meeting was held to discuss the current situation.

Out in Eagle Bay, he says the fire chief has informed the emergency program there are no problems at this time.

The road next to Skimikin Lake has flooded again this year. Hansen says MOTI informed him that when it floods, signs are put up warning motorists and, if it gets too high, it’s blocked so motorists must detour.

At the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band, a state of emergency was declared for one residence on May 8 because Chum Creek has broken over its banks, cutting a swath through Charlotte Francois’ land, threatening to cut off her house from the roadway.

Doug Brown, administrator for the band, said the plan is to haul rip rap and use an excavator to establish a new route for the creek.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire burns at 400 hectares

An evacuation alert remains in effect for those on Lakeshore Road

Smoky skies bulletin remains for Okanagan Valley

Still, a smoky skies bulletin was issued for the Okanagan

Updated: Peachland fire crews monitor fires this morning

Crews continue to battle the 1,000 hectare Mount Eneas blaze south of Peachland

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Update: Skeleton crew to watch 1,000 hectare wildfire near Peachland overnight

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

On the street: Kelowna reacts to 2018 wildfires

BC Wildfire is working with local departments to battle multiple blazes near Kelowna.

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Update: Size of large fire near Keremeos unknown

Two significant fires are burning in the Lower Similkameen, smoke can be seen as far away as Osoyoos

Penticton bans open burning

Temporary fire ban takes effect noon Friday

Most Read