Emergency officials and local government staff in the Central Okanagan are responding to various reports of flooding and high water levels in creeks and streams throughout the area and, as a result, have activated the the Emergency Operation Centre.
The heavy rain from Thursday night’s thunderstorms, combined with snowmelt from warmer temperatures earlier in the day, has seen the flow and level of all water courses rise, says the Central Okanagan Regional District.
It’s expected the situation will continue at least through today.
The Emergency Operation Centre was activated to support crews in the field responding to issues of localized, isolated flooding.
As a precaution, the evacuation order issued for Fintry Provincial Park remains in effect. One residence in the park and some campers have left the area. Emergency Support Services volunteers are assisting those evacuated.
Areas where flooding has been reported include in Kelowna and West Kelowna, as well as in the unincprporated regional district areas of Ellison and around Short’s Creek on the west side of Okanagan Lake, as well as the Fintry Delta area off Westside Road.
Motorists should be prepared for alternating single lane traffic on Westside Road at the North Westside Fire Hall just south of Short’s Creek as crews clear debris from the creek. Check the Drive BC website for the latest conditions.
Property owners are also being reminded they are responsible for having tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flooding. Bags for sandbags are available at local firehalls in the Central Okanagan for residents concerned about potential flooding. At this time residents are responsible for providing their own sand.
As well, residents are also advised to use extra care and attention around local creeks. Hikers and walkers should be aware that fast moving water may cause some creek bank erosion and creek bank edges may not be stable. Anyone wishing to canoe or raft should check their route from land before setting out to ensure debris is not caught near culverts or under bridges.
Boaters are encouraged to keep their boat speed down and watch for any floating debris that may be deposited in area lakes from tributaries.
Following Thursday night’s heavy rain and another storm alert on the way for the Okanagan-Shuswap region a close eye is being kept on rivers and creeks.
Two underpasses along Mission Creek Greenway are now closed, as the River Forecast Centre is issuing a flood watch for Mission Creek.
The Regional District of the Central Okanagan is also issuing a closure for the lower portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park.
Mill Creek near Enterprise is also rising and has flooded over it’s lower banks in some areas.
In West Kelowna, the city has closed Gellatly Road as Powers Creek has overflowed its banks and flooded the lake-level road. Smith Creek is also at risk of flooding.
The Salmon River in the Shuswap is also on a flood watch.
Just off Westside Road, campers are being forced out of Fintry Provincial Park due to severe flooding.
To the South a number of creeks throughout the Regional District of the Okanagan South are running for the first time in 20 or 25 years. Areas of concern of flooding include rural Oliver and the Twin Lakes area.
The community of Tulameen will also expected to see flooding as the Tulameen River continues to rise.
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