Warning about high water, but worst is over

The rainfall warning is continued, but a reprieve is forecast Thursday and a smaller storm Friday.

The muddy waters of Mission Creek are lapping at the feet of bushes along its edge

The muddy waters of Mission Creek are lapping at the feet of bushes along its edge

Even though not as much precipitation materialized as expected this week, Mission Creek has risen to a point where another rainstorm could cause flooding in the vicinity, and a rainfall warning remained in effect as of late Wednesday.

Colder temperatures have resulted in even more snow falling at high elevations around the valley, but it has also stopped snow from melting to join runoff from rainstorms this week, said Central Okanagan emergency program coordinator Jason Brolund.

That’s been a help as far as keeping the level of Mission Creek within its banks, even though it’s running brown and lapping at the trunks of trees that normally line the creek.

“It’s been an interesting few days,” admitted Brolund. “I am concerned about the levels of Mission Creek, but the amount of rainfall we see next will determine whether we see flooding or not,” he added.

He warned that anyone with a property that is prone to flooding from Mission Creek should take precautions. Sandbags are available at local firehalls and information on flood preparedness, including a recommended method for sandbag diking, are available on the emergency operation centre website at: www.cordemergency.ca

Anyone who notices a potential problem or flooding concern in the Central Okanagan is asked to call regional fire dispatch at 469-8801.

As well, Brolund warned those near Okanagan Lake to keep watch on lake levels and consider putting basement sump pumps into operation, or deal with possible erosion problems.

Although a series of rainstorms have travelled through the Central Okanagan in the past four days or so, the 50 mm of rain forecast Monday has not fallen in the valley bottom, noted Brolund.

Rainfall amounts have varied in different parts of the region, but he estimated the amount that’s fallen has been less than half that amount.

Colin Tam, meteorologist with Environment Canada, reported actual rainfall the past four days measured at the Kelowna International Airport was 10.8 millimetres, but more than double that amount fell in Vernon and Penticton and some higher elevation weather stations reported 30 mm.

Overnight was the last little blast from this particular storm, which is now tracking northwest in the province, said Tam.

Partial clearing could bring some frost, but he didn’t think it would be very heavy.

Following a reprieve Thursday, another system is expected to move through overnight and Friday, followed by warmer air by Sunday.

Saturday temperatures are expected to remain below normal, at a high of 17 C and a low of 8 C (normal is 10 C to 22 C), but Sunday temperatures are expected to return to normal.

Because creeks are running high, residents are warned to be cautious and keep pets and children back from the banks, which could be slippery and eroding from spring runoff.

Boaters using Okanagan Lake are warned there is considerable floating debris that has been carried down from the high-flowing streams.



Kelowna Capital News