Osoyoos open for business and tourists

Destination Osoyoos reminding visitors that most of the community is unaffected by flooding

Destination Osoyoos, the tourism marketing organization, is reminding those who want to visit the area that most of the community and surrounding area is unaffected by high water and flooding.

Open for business and looking forward to exceptional weather for the upcoming May long weekend is the message Destination Osoyoos is trying to spread.

A press release from the marketing organization said the area has plenty to offer, besides lake activities, including wineries, interpretative and cultural centres, golf courses, unique shops, a wide variety of restaurants are ready to greet the season’s tourists. The Osoyoos Medieval Faire runs on the long weekend at the Osoyoos Desert Park Racetrack.

Related: Medieval Faire returns to Desert Park

All routes into Osoyoos are currently open, including Highway 3 in both directions; travelers are encouraged to check DriveBC/Major Events as conditions can change without notice.

Continuing warm temperatures and a high snowpack mean water levels will continue to rise in both the Similkameen River and Osoyoos Lake, which has already passed last year’s maximum.

The Similkameen River has pushed additional water back into Osoyoos Lake and this has resulted in localized flooding in some locations, including the town of Osoyoos. As a result, 53 properties and two lakefront hotels have been evacuated as well as 17 properties in rural Electoral Area ‘A.’

Related: B.C. officials watching for impact of ‘extreme’ heat on floods

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says to expect that situation to continue from now through Friday when they estimate the rising water will peak.

In an effort to decrease damage and in the interest of public safety, sẁiẁs Park (Haynes Point), Paradise Park, and the area marinas are currently closed. Both residents and visitors are encouraged to limit activities on the lake to paddle boarding and kayaking and to avoid impacted areas.

The RDOS in conjunction with the Province of British Columbia, have been distributing sandbags and B.C. Wildfire crews have been working to protect critical infrastructure through sandbag walls and tiger dams.

A public information meeting will be held at Osoyoos Sonora Centre at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, with officials from the Town of Osoyoos, Province of B.C., and RDOS. Updated information regarding the current water levels, orders, alerts, and emergency resources can be found at http://www.rdos.bc.ca/home/.


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