Volunteers step up for yacht club

Rising Okanagan Lake levels prompt Penticton Yacht Club to jump into action

Volunteers were hard at work at the Penticton Yacht Club this week as Okanagan Lake levels continue to rise.

Terry Olfert, past-commodore of the yacht club, said they received a call from the City of Penticton stating they could have a situation with flooding, anticipating the lake could rise 18 inches.

The crew of about 60 volunteers were prompted to take precautions because of a weather alert issued by Environment Canada calling for severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall across the region on Thursday. The rain, combined with the spring snow melt, has caused lake levels to rise about three centimetres a day.

The yacht club were backed by efforts from the city who provided them with sand and sandbags and three members of the fire department.

“It was phenomenal,” said Olfert. “We did it in 4.5 hours what I thought would take a couple of days.”

Olfert said should the water level rise again that it will reach the sandbags surrounding the building and nearly reach the top of the bags. He said it was an incredible experience with the club members and the support from the community.

“That’s scary when that comes up 18 inches,” he said. “If we get another down pour, that is scary.”

Continued high water has created a potential for flooding in areas across the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkmaeen. Vaseaux Lake is rising and the RDOS warned that many home owners that are located close proximity to the water’s edge should assess their current situation and anticipate waters rising further over the weekend and into next week. The RDOS said they have delivered sandbags to Sundial Road for residents in that area.

Sand and sandbags can be obtained at the following locations:

City of Penticton — fire hall No. 2 at the corner of Dawson Avenue

Summerland — Fire hall at 10115 Jubilee Rod. and Summerland public works at 9215 Cedar Ave.

Osoyoos, rural Osoyoos — public works yards 11500 115th St. and said will be placed across the street from Dairy Queen on Main Street.

Rural Cawston, Cawston — sand and sandbags are available at Village of Keremeos Irrigation Pump Station at 900 Sparks Dr., corner of 1st and Sparks Dr.

Oliver, rural Oliver, Willowbrook — Town of Oliver public works yards, 5971 Sawmill Rd. and Oliver fire hall, 369 Similkameen Ave. They are also available at Willowbrook fire hall, 39440 Fairview White Lake Rd.

Okanagan Falls, Kaleden, Farleigh Lake, Twin Lakes — Sand at the end of Cedar Road, by the old sewer plant, and sandbags at the fire hall at 5013 11th Ave.

Naramata, Glenfire, Indian Rock — at the fire hall on Lower Debeck Road.

West Bench, Sage Mesa, Faulder, rural Summerland — In Faulder sand and sandbags are located at post box pullout, at the junction of Fish Lake Road and the Princeton Summerland Road. Red Wing residents can pick them up inside the gates on the lake side of the resort.

Keremeos, Village of Keremeos, Olalla, Hedley and parts of the Similkameen — Keremeos fire department at 900 Sparks St., junction of 1st Avenue and Sparks Drive at the irrigation pump station

Rural Princeton, Princeton, Similkameen, Tulameen, Osprey Lakes, Missezula — Princeton fire hall at 174 Penryn Ave. and local fire departments.

If you require sandbags, and do not see your area listed, please call the Emergency Operations Centre at 250-492-0237 or toll free at 1-877-610-3737.