Creek floods its banks

Water levels and snow pack measurements are both above normal

Flooding in the Garnett Valley area left some orchards and fields submerged over the weekend.

“We are on heavy watch and we have had some localized flooding to date,” said Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer for the municipality.

While flooding in Summerland was less severe than in other parts of the Okanagan Valley, rising water levels have had an effect here.

Before the weekend, Garnett Dam was already starting to spill and municipal staff were monitoring the water levels.

“We haven’t had Garnett spilling for quite a few years,” said Devon van der Meulen, manager of utilities for the municipality.

As a result of the spilling, the water level in Aeneas Creek is high and the municipality is offering sand and sandbags to those living near the creek.

Over the weekend, 1,600 sandbags were picked up. The municipality still has 12,000 sandbags available.

Because the creek is narrow, it has the potential to flood adjacent properties, van der Meulen said.

While the Garnett Valley area experienced flooding on the weekend, the situation is different in the rest of the community.

Thirsk Lake and Isintok Lake in Summerland’s reservoir system are rising rapidly and will soon begin to spill, but the high water levels are not expected to present risks to the rest of the municipality.

The latest snow course survey data, from May 1, show above normal levels at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake.

At Summerland Reservoir, the snow depth was 500 millimetres, or the equivalent of 185 millimetres of water. This is 170 per cent of the historical average at this time of year.

At Isintok Lake, the snow depth measured 590 millimetres, or the equivalent of 174 millimetres of water. This is 136 per cent of the historical average.

Earlier this year, the snow measurements at both sites were well below the historical averages.

Melting water from these sites eventually makes its way into Trout Creek.

While temperatures were warm and sunny on Tuesday and Wednesday, rain was forecast for Thursday and Friday, Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said.

“For Wednesday we are forecasting highs in the 26 C range and then Thursday and Friday we may get another 15 to 25 millimetres of rain, maybe even more, with the next weather system. There is certainly more concern coming up.”

Lundquist says while the initial snow pack that caused a lot of the flooding last week has now melted, there are several other higher-elevation snow packs that are now a concern.

“High elevation or different watersheds may see the snowpack melt. So when that happens with the rainfall coming on Thursday and Friday it is a concern,” said Lunquist.

While the water level in the creek is high, van der Meulen said Trout Creek is wide enough to handle increased water levels.

The water treatment plant is not expected to have problems from the high water levels as the intake allows only as much as the plant can handle.

Just Posted

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

2.5 years in Penticton courthouse over neighbour assault ends

Man pleaded guilty, withdrew, stood trial, pleaded guilty to assault described by Crown as ‘vicious’

Country star takes a dip for charity

Brett Kissel went for a dip in Okanagan Lake while in Penticton to raise money for Her International

Pursuit of Excellence defeats OHA in female prep hockey final

Okanagan Hockey Academy lost to Pursuit of Excellence 6-3 at the CSSHL final in Penticton

Oliver holds onto Wine Capital of Canada designation

It might be hard to swallow for other communities but Oliver remains Wine Capital of Canada

What’s happening

Find out what events are taking place this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read