JOHN ARENDT WET CONDITIONS A field in the Garnett Valley area in Summerland is underwater following flood conditions on the weekend. Municipal crews are bracing for additional flooding. The forecast for Thursday and Friday calls for rain.

Summerland prepares for potential flooding

Sand and sandbags available as creek and water levels are both higher than usual

Municipal crews have been preparing for potential flooding in Summerland.

Water levels are higher than usual in creeks and waterways throughout the community and there has already been some localized flooding in the Garnett Valley area.

On the weekend, residents in Garnett Vally worked to control water as the creek spilled its banks.

On Tuesday, municipal crews and equipment created a berm on the banks of Aeneas Creek near the intersection of Garnett Avenue and Tingley Street.

In addition to the high creek levels, concerns have also been raised about flooding near Okanagan Lake.

“If the rain event comes, the lakeshore will flood,” said municipal administrator Linda Tynan.

The lake level is much higher than usual.

The Environment Canada forecast for Summerland on Thursday is for a 70 per cent chance of showers or thunderstorms, with a risk of a severe thunderstorm in the afternoon.

Friday’s forecast is for a 60 per cent chance of showers.

A severe thunderstorm watch and a special weather statement are both in effect for the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan and South Okanagan.

Between 15 and 25 millimetres of rain is likely over many regions by Friday morning.

Tynan said municipal crews are also watching other creeks in the community.

West of Summerland, in Faulder, the creek along Fish Lake Road is swollen and sandbags were set up around at least one driveway to cope with the high water levels.

Yards and pastures in the small community were underwater.

High snow levels, combined with extremely wet spring conditions, have resulted in extreme flows and flood conditions for many parts of southern British Columbia, including the Okanagan Valley.

According to the province’s River Forecast Centre, the May 1 snow level in the Okanagan was 147 per cent of normal levels, while the Similkameen snow level was at 146 per cent of normal.

Sand for sandbags is available at Powell Beach, Rotary Beach, the Butler lift station on Lakeshore Drive and Butler Street, the Stonor Street beach access, Wharf Street beach access, Nixon Road beach access, the 8900 block of Landry Crescent, the 18000 block of Lakeshore Drive, the 17000 block of Lakeshore Drive, the Peach Orchard Beach boat launch, Crescent Beach, Wharton Street and Kelly Avenue, Garnett Valley Road near Handley Street and Garnett Valley Road near the mailboxes at 20679 Garnett Valley Rd.

Sandbags are also available at the firehall.