UPDATE: Kearns Creek dam near Willowbrook reaches capacity

Emergency officials urging residents to get on sandbagging, expect flooding

UPDATE: 8:16 p.m.

Pat Lantz the volunteer fire chief of Willowbrook is now confirming the dam was not breached as earlier thought.

Instead the fire department conducted a controlled spill of the dam.

The water level is expected to increase 6 to 12 inches overnight and Willowbrook residents along Kearns Creek are warned to preparing for flooding.

According to the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen the owner of the Kearns Creek dam under order from BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will be pumping water to reduce the volume in the dam, which reached capacity late Sunday and spilled.

The RDOS is asking residents to add two more layers to already sandbagged armouring, and give property owners along the length of the creek and adjacent to it this information so they can make informed decisions on safeguarding properties.

Sand and sandbags are being maintained at the north intersection of Johnson and Carr Crescents as well as at the Willowbrook Fire Hall.

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ORIGINAL:

The volunteer fire department serving the small community of Willowbrook put out an alarming Facebook message alerting residents of a dam breach.

“ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!” the post starts. “We were just informed that there is a dam uphill from us that feeds into Willowbrook which is being breached as I write this. We are to expect 20-50% more water.”

The community has already gotten some sandbags from the regional district in recent days, but now the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department is urging residents to “do what you can right away and prepare.”

More sandbags, sand and an automatic sandbagging machine are reportedly on their way to the community.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has been busy with flooding issues throughout the region already, including with flooding that caused a small precautionary evacuation in Naramata.

More on this to come…

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