Sandbag centres will be set up in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for residents preparing for possible flooding this spring. (Black Press file photo)

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen urges preparation for spring flooding

Warming conditions will affect spring melting

As spring temperatures are rising, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is reminding property owners to take appropriate measures to protect their property and buildings from potential rising waters and drainage issues.

Temperatures are expected to rise to 18 to 24 C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. This could result in increased melting of snow packs, resulting in above-average spring runoff in the coming weeks.

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Taking proactive measures and assessing property and buildings for drainage issues before freshet, or spring melting, begins is a proactive measure residents can take to help prevent or minimize potential damage. The regional district urges people to prepare, especially if they live in vulnerable areas, on or near floodplains, or if they have experienced spring flooding previously.

Rapidly melting snow packs can overwhelm stream channels and cause localized flooding. Spring freshet can also destabilize soil and rocks, causing unpredictable mudslides, landslides and rock slides.

Emergency preparedness also includes establishing plans to ensure family and pet needs are considered before an unexpected event occurs. Advance planning can help families cope with the stress of dealing with an evacuation alert or an evacuation order.

The regional district and Emergency Management BC will provide sand and sandbags for property owners as needed when there is an imminent threat of flooding.

For more information and updates, visit the regional district’s Emergency Operations Centre website for information updates, resource links and preparedness tips. The page also includes updated sand and sandbagging locations and information about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Sandbag centres will open throughout the regional district as needed to help protect properties from localized flooding.

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