Keep a watchful eye on creeks in your area.
It is the warning issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to residents as water washing down from the high snow pack comes down the hills and raises the potential of debris floods in local creeks.
“After several days of warmer weather, creeks are at seasonally high levels. Banks of creeks are saturated making them easier to wash out. Please exercise caution when near waterways; to stay save a 10 metre setback is recommended. Also, due to groundwater saturation, what appears to be stable ground may be dangerously compromised and rapidly destabilize underfoot,” said Mark Woods, RDOS director of emergency operations.
Creeks moving larger branches, trees or boulders should be reported to the RDOS emergency operations centre at 250-490-4225. If there is an immediate risk to lives or property, residents should phone 911. Blocked culverts or bridges that are compromised should be reported to Argo Road Maintenance at 250-493-6969 or 1-800-663-7623.
The RDOS said any dramatic change in creek flow, either accelerated flow with debris or a sudden stoppage of flow can indicate an escalating situation upstream. The RDOS said it is important for residents who live on, or adjacent to, streams to observe and report any changes so professionals can be dispatched to assess and mitigate the situation for public safety.