Penticton Fire Department crews work to fill sandbags by the dozen at Station 202, where deputy fire chief Chris Forster said the efforts have amounted to about 12,000 sandbags being stockpiled. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Over 115,000 sandbags delivered to Okanagan-Similkameen

On top of that, more than 800 tonnes of non-bagged sand has been delivered to RDOS communities

The cavalry has come to join the fight against flooding in the South Okanagan.

Penticton Fire Department deputy chief Chris Forster said B.C. Wildfire Service crews joined the flood mitigation efforts over the weekend, as the water continues to rise in the South Okanagan.

For the most part, that effort has been with filling sandbags, as Penticton Fire has managed to build up a stockpile of about 12,000 sandbags at Station 202.

Related: Evacuation alert near Green Lake

“They came in and helped us on the weekend, there, put together a lot of those sandbags,” he said. “Pretty much most of those were done over the weekend. We’d had about 2,000 prior to the weekend, and then we did about 10,000 on the weekend. So we can fill them pretty quick if need be.”

That stockpile is largely in preparation for the city of Penticton, to protect local infrastructure and residents, where Forster said the efforts during last year’s flooding were more reactive.

But the sandbags are available to anybody in need — Forster pointed to Willowbrook, where the sandbagging efforts were compromised over the weekend, and the community’s fire hall was “imminently” under threat of flooding.

Related: South Okanagan residents battle flooding

Click on the picture for an interactive map with all of the places where sand (orange) or sandbags (purple) have been dropped off in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen this spring.
Image courtesy Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
Click on the picture for an interactive map with all of the places where sand (orange) or sandbags (purple) have been dropped off in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen this spring.

Image courtesy Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

The 12,000 sandbags Penticton Fire has accumulated is just a drop in the bucket — or a grain in the sandbag — as the RDOS reports having delivered 806 tonnes of sand and 115,200 sandbags, including in municipalities, this year so far.

And in the city of Penticton alone, last year, there were over 200,000 sandbags laid.

While Penticton Fire is accumulating sandbags, Cameron Baughen with RDOS emergency operations said the regional district is dropping off sand and sandbags where they are needed.

Related: South Okanagan continues flood fight as water moves downhill

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has been getting sandbagging supplies from the provincial government and leaving sand, bags and shovels in a number of regions affected by flooding.

That includes the Willowbrook community west of Oliver, the Sportsmens Bowl Road area just north of Oliver and the Green Lake area just west of Okanagan Falls, where flooding has so far hit hardest.

“When it’s identified through our emergency operations centre, we then provide the sand and sandbags directly to that community,” Baughen said.

“More rural areas might want to get those, then contact us and we can look and see. If there’s no immediate concern there, if they just want it for no reason that we can identify, it may not be something that we do. But once there’s an identifiable risk, and that might just be the culverts or something that’s pretty minor, we can then provide that sand.”

More information about flood mitigation and an interactive map of all of the sandbagging sites can be found on the RDOS website.

Related: Willowbrook community rallies in state of local emergency

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Come dance between the lakes

Powwow Between the Lakes returns to Penticton Indian Band in August

B.C. Wine Info Centre feeling the impact of striking casino workers

The casino isn’t the only Penticton business feeling the brunt of the strike action

Tailgate Party celebrates Naramata’s early roots

South Okanagan wineries located on the Naramata Bench host their annual party

Emerica tears up Penticton Youth Park

Pro skateboarders make summer afternoon even hotter

‘Virtual drugstore’ dealer sentenced in Penticton

A Penticton woman was using the casino as a hub to sell drugs and launder money

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

Small house fire extinguished by Okanagan homeowner

Homeowner knocked down flames with hose before crews were on scene Tuesday morning

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hedge up in flames in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident burning weeds had flames spread to a nearby hedge

Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after ‘lava bomb’ injuries

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers.”

Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism

“Shameful,” ”disgraceful,” ”weak,” were a few of the comments. Makes the U.S. “look like a pushover,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Obama to deliver Mandela address in likely rebuke to Trump

Former U.S. President Barack Obama Monday praised Kenya’s president and opposition leader for working together but said this East African country must do more to end corruption.

Missing B.C. Serval cat creates buzz online, pleas for help

Aquila, an African Serval, disappeared from a Fernie, B.C. backyard sometime on Friday, July 13.

Most Read