Just a few of the local community members and volunteer firefighters who came out by the dozens Monday night — even as darkness set on the community — to mitigate the potential for further damage caused by flooding in the Willowbrook community. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Slowly rising ground water a concern in South Okanagan

Area north west of Oliver still under a local state of emergency due to flooding

A local state of emergency remains in effect for the Willowbrook area north west of Oliver due to flooding along Kearns Creek affecting approximately 20 homes.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has hired a specialized hydrologist to look at options for moving water through the area. The RDOS has also received funding from Emergency Management B.C. to do a 2018 specific flood risk assessment based on the heavy rain received and high snow pack in the southern Interior.

Related: Willowbrook resident says province ignored proactive measures

The Willowbrook area is located upstream of a number of other homes along Kearns Creek. Looking at the effects of water upstream and downstream of the community will be considered before digging or pumping will be enacted.

“Before we can start trenching or pumping water we need to understand what the consequences will be,” said Paul Edmonds, RDOS emergency management program co-ordinator, in a news release. “Speeding up water in one place could damage homes and property lower down. That risk needs to be understood.”

The RDOS said water in Willowbrook remains stable but a concern is slowly rising ground water. Rising ground water is a concern for the entire RDOS as snows melt. They advise that residents should check basements for water and prepare their property for any potential run off.

Related: Firefighters overflowing with community support for Willowbrook

The RDOS is providing residents support with sand and sand bags at locations where damage or flooding has occurred including:

Electoral Area A (Osoyoos, rural Osoyoos)

— Town of Osoyoos – opposite of the Dairy Queen on Main Street in the vacant lot

Electoral Area C (rural Oliver)

– Willowbrook Fire Hall – 3395 Willowbrook Rd. and the corner of Myers Road and Johnson Road

– In Oliver at the fire hall – 369 Similkameen Ave.

Electoral Area D (east and west side of Skaha Lake, Kaleden, Twin Lakes and Okanagan Falls)

– Okanagan Falls – Keogan Park, across from 1512 Cedar St.

Electoral Area E (Naramata, Glenfir and Indian Rock)

– Naramata Fire Hall – 1095 Lower Debeck Rd.

Keremeos, Cawston, Olalla (South Similkameen)

— Keremeos — Highway 3A and 1st Avenue



kristi.patton@pentictonwesternnews.com
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