Knocked down tree along with other debris clogged up the fast flowing Mission Creek this afternoon at the bridge on Lakeshore Road.

UPDATE: Lakeshore Road over Mission Creek has re-opened

Heavy rains have caused local flooding as creek levels swell to dangerous highs and Okanagan Lake's level rises.

Lakeshore Road was temporarily closed between Cook Road and Lexington Avenue due to high water levels in Mission Creek resulting from the rain.

However, it was re-opened early this morning.

City crews continue to monitor creek levels.

Sand and sandbags are available at the Cook Street Boat launch and at the end of Radant Road for residents in that neighbourhood who may be impacted by high water levels.

A deluge of rain Wednesday and Thursday caused a sudden spike in the flows and the water level in Mission Creek and other local waterways, and Okanagan Lake is nearly at its full point, causing some local flooding.

Although the wettest part of this week’s storm ended Thursday afternoon, runoff from the high elevation Mission Creek watershed, which drains down Mission Creek into Okanagan Lake, can take from 12 to 24 hours to reach the valley bottom, so the creek continued to rise after the rain stopped.

Showers are forecast for today and Saturday and no rain is forecast for Sunday and Monday, but showers are expected to return after that.

The upper part of the popular Mission Creek Greenway has been closed, with portions of it under water, and trail underpasses at Gordon Drive and Casorso were also closed due to high water.

A tree fell from an eroding bank into the framework of the Lakeshore Road bridge by the force of the rushing waters of Mission Creek and debris began piling up against it earlier Thursday. City crews used an excavator to remove the tree and continued monitoring the situation at the bridge as the water level continued to rise late Thursday.

Playing fields in both Kelowna and West Kelowna have been closed due to their sodden condition.

Steady, heavy rain in the past day or two caused a rapid rise in the level of Mission Creek, flooding upstream sections of the Mission Creek Greenway, so the complete phase two section was closed Thursday, from the Hollywood Road South entrance of Scenic Canyon Regional Park to the end of the trail off Field Road.

The north creek-side section of the greenway along phase one, from Lakeshore through Mission Creek Regional Park is still open, but users are warned to use extreme caution.

As well, Mission Creek Greenway underpasses at Casorso Road and Gordon Drive have been closed again until water levels drop.

Users of the greenway are reminded that the trail on the south side of Mission Creek at the Gordon Drive bridge is also closed until further notice.

The regional district’s Bruce Smith asks that users respect the barricades and signs in the area and to be cautious crossing Casorso Road while the underpass is closed.

At the Gordon Drive crossing, the north side underpass remains open, but it could be closed at any time as the creek level continues to rise, he warned.

Regional parks staff continue to monitor creek levels and urge people to be aware that water levels throughout the district could rise rapidly and unexpectedly, so stay well back from creek banks, he advised.

Boaters are warned to watch for floating debris that is entering the lake from fast-flowing creeks throughout the valley.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

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