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State of Emergency: Okanagan Lake now the focus for potential flooding

Flooding throughout the Central Okanagan has resulted in a number of Evacuation Alerts, Orders and road closures. The City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna and the Fintry Delta in the Regional District of Central Okanagan declared a state of emergency on Saturday, May 6th, 2017 due to flooding from various creeks spilling their banks in the Central Okanagan.

Please visit this story for new updates to the Flooding affecting the Central Okanagan.

(UPDATE: May 19th @3:30 p.m.)

Due to extraordinarily high Okanagan Lake levels, the damage that watercraft wakes can cause to properties, and to protect anti-flood measures installed along the shore, the City of West Kelowna is closing its boat launches. A number of waterfront parks have also been closed; and, sand and sandbag locations have been restocked as part of the City of West Kelowna’s ongoing flood protection response.

Effective immediately, and until further notice, the boat launches at Gellatly Bay and in Casa Loma have been closed to recreational use. The City of West Kelowna will reopen the launches when lake levels have subsided and the threat of property damage from boat wakes has abated. Patrol officers will remain available on site to open the Gellatly launch for emergency and commercial uses and for residents who need to get their boats off the lake.

Until further notice, a number of West Kelowna parks will also remain closed due to the flood threat caused by steadily rising lake levels and to ensure the preservation of protective measures that have been installed along the shoreline. Closures are in effect at:

Pritchard Park
Pebbles Beach
Waterfront portion of the Gellatly Beach access
Marina Park
Aberdeen Park
Jennens Beach Access

The City of West Kelowna has installed sandbag walls at a further 27 beach accesses. At these locations, visitors are asked to stay clear of the walls and keep to the upland side of them to prevent the protective barriers from being damaged or moved.

Boaters urged to stay off Okanagan Lake.

(UPDATE: May 19th @9:00 a.m.)

Flood preparations in response to rising lake levels have been underway throughout the week. Okanagan Lake rose 2.5 cm yesterday; the lake level is now at 342.779. Heading into the long weekend, there are some safety considerations for residents and visitors while taking in activities in the Central Okanagan. For more on flood levels click here.

(UPDATE: May 18th @11:00 a.m.)

CORD Emergency is reporting that there are isolated areas within the Central Okanagan experiencing impacts from rising lake levels.

Okanagan Lake's water levels rose two centimetres to 342.75 metres since Wednesday.

These conditions are expected to last well into June due to record water levels and more-than-usual snow in higher elevations.

This snow is expected to melt with the warmer temperatures forecasted.

Crews continue to work on installing bladder dams at Kinsmen Park, Sutherland Park and Tug Boat Park, as well as sandbag walls at Manhattan Drive Beach Access and Watt Road.

CORD Emergency asks the public to keep their distance from protective flood measures.

The areas where crews are working were key locations based on a survey of waterfront properties on Okanagan Lake that are more prone to flooding during rising lake levels.

Crews will continue to install barriers over the coming days.

Residents in low-lying areas are encouraged to continue to fill sandbags and have them ready or other measures to protect structures.

As the long weekend approaches, CORD Emergency asks residents to refer to Tourism Kelowna for the status of various park closures.

Boaters are reminded to drive slow to prevent wakes from hitting the shoreline.

Boaters should also watch for debris.

Debris found on shore are to be left there for now, as it helps limit the amount of erosion caused by wave action.

(UPDATE: May 17th @5:30 p.m.)

Evacuation Orders have been rescinded for all properties affected by flooding on Okanagan Indian Band Reserve #7. This includes Meadow Brook Estates, Holiday Park Resort, Turtle Lodges and other properties within the reserve. Those people no longer under evacuation may continue to experience increasing lake and ground water levels and should leave any flood preparations, such as sandbags, in place. To check on the status of orders and alerts visit www.cordemergency.ca/maps

There are isolated areas within the Central Okanagan that are currently experiencing impacts from rising lake levels. In downtown Kelowna for example, dewatering pumps have been in place and continue to work to prevent flooding in civic properties with potential benefits for other area properties. The Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant has added additional pumping capacity to support reduced outfall flow of treated effluent into Okanagan Lake. Evacuation Orders and Alerts are up-to-date at www.cordemergency.ca/map.

(UPDATE: May 17th @12:30 p.m.)

The Evacuation Orders remain in place affecting properties within the Okanagan Indian Band reserve #7 including those specifically identified in the Holiday Park Resort and the Turtle Lodges. Any change to these Evacuation Orders will be made only when it is safe to allow residents to return. Evacuation Orders and Alerts are up-to-date at www.cordemergency.ca/map.

Okanagan Lake rose more than three centimetres to 342.736 metres since yesterday morning.

Residents in low-lying and waterfront areas that may be affected by flooding from rising lake levels are encouraged to use sandbags or other measures to protect structures on their property. Updated information on sand and sandbag locations is available at www.cordemergency.ca/map

Once again today, residents may see proactive flood protection measures from local government public works staff along beaches and the lakefront in municipalities.

Bladder dams, gabion barriers and sandbags will continue to be installed at a number of locations along the foreshore based on a survey of waterfront properties on Okanagan Lake. The survey confirmed the location of those areas that are most prone to flooding from rising lake levels. Some of those areas with waterfront flood protection installed include those neighbourhoods between the W. R. Bennett Bridge and close to the Kelowna General Hospital campus and in West Kelowna and along Bellevue Creek.

(UPDATE: May 16th @5:00 p.m.)

A number of properties in Lake Country are no longer under Evacuation Order and Alert.

Rescinded Evacuations Orders in Lake Country include 11019 Bottom Wood Lake Road (includes property signed as 11039 Bottom Wood Lake Road). Visit www.cordemergency.ca for more information.

(UPDATE: May 16th @11:00 a.m.)

Okanagan Lake rose more than 2.5cm to 342.70m since Monday afternoon. In response, residents in some of the lowest laying areas of Kelowna might see crews deploying flood protection measures today.

Based on a survey of waterfront properties on Okanagan Lake, bladder dams, gabion barriers and sandbags will begin to be installed at a number of locations along the foreshore. The survey confirmed the location of the most vulnerable areas prone to flooding from rising lake levels.

Residents in Kelowna neighbourhoods between William R. Bennett Bridge and Kelowna General Hospital area might see work crews installing flood protection measures on the beach along the lakeshore starting today.

Work in West Kelowna is also ongoing at Pritchard Park and Pebble Park today. (full story here)

Currently the Central Okanagan has Water Alerts ranging from Water Quality Advisories to Boil Water Notices. Click this link to see if your water provider is on any type of Water Alert.

(UPDATE: May 15th @4:27 p.m.)

An evacuation order has been rescinded for 17 properties along Kilkenny Place in the Killiney Beach subdivision. This includes 9567 to 9697 Kilkenny Place.

A landslide Saturday prompted the evacuation order. Eight people received assistance from Emergency Support Services volunteers in Vernon.

Slope stability assessments concluded Monday and determined residents can return to their homes.

Approximately 400 people remain evacuated. Emergency officials are constantly assessing possible changes in the status of remaining evacuation orders and alerts based on a variety of conditions including weather and the impact it has on lake water levels which are continuing to rise and levels and flows of area creeks. The inconvenience and stress posed to those people forced from their homes and properties is always top of mind. Any change to Evacuation Orders will be made only when it is safe to allow residents to return to their homes.

(UPDATE: May 15th @11:30 a.m.)

Attention is shifting to Okanagan Lake levels, as unstable weather remains in the forecast and considerable amounts of upper level snowpack have yet to melt.

As of late Sunday afternoon, Okanagan Lake was measured at 342.65 metres, or 17 centimetres above full pool – 35 centimetres below the flood mark. If water reaches the 343.0 metre level, low lying areas adjacent to the lake will flood and creeks such as Mission and Mill will begin to backflow causing them to potentially spill their banks.

The hope is that normal temperatures with little to no precipitation will prevail, creating a more gradual filling of the lake, to allow time for water to drain in the coming days and weeks. While officials hope for the best, preparations for flooding are ongoing. Emergency officials are considering plans for the possible deployment of portable bladder dams to act as protective flood barriers as needed.

Boaters are reminded that lake levels are high and they should watch for floating debris as a significant amount has been flowing downstream into area lakes. Boaters should also keep their distance from shorelines and if possible keep speeds down as additional wave action could cause disturbance to banks and beaches.

(UPDATE: May 14th @5:00 p.m.)

The flood watch continues in the Central Okanagan as creeks remain high and Okanagan Lake remains above full pool, with rain remaining in the forecast and melting upper elevation snowpacks still expected to contribute to rising lake levels.

All existing sandbags should be kept in place. Lakeside residents should keep debris in place along the shore to barricade against rising waters and wave activity and guard against erosion.

All existing evacuation orders and alerts, affecting approximately 400 people, remain in place. The Emergency Social Services reception centre at the Salvation Army at Sutherland Avenue and Burtch Road in Kelowna will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, May 15 to assist those who remain on evacuation order and those who require extended assistance. Emergency officials are constantly assessing possible changes in the status of remaining evacuation orders and alerts based on a variety of conditions including weather and the impact it has on lake water levels, which are continuing to rise, and levels and flows of area creeks. A list of orders and alerts are posted at www.cordemergency.ca.

Emergency officials continue to conduct advance planning and prepare models for possible lake effect flooding, should Okanagan Lake exceed the 343 metre mark. Maps showing possible flooding areas near the lake have been posted at www.cordemergency.ca/map.

At last report early Sunday afternoon, Okanagan Lake was at 342.6 metres, or 40 centimetres below the flood mark. The hope is that normal temperatures with little to no precipitation will prevail, creating a more gradual filling of the lake, to allow time for water to drain. While officials hope for the best, preparations for the worst are ongoing. For example, portable bladder dams are in stock and can be quickly put in place to help form protective barriers.

Residents in the flood advisory areas identified in the maps should move things up from basements and crawl spaces and be prepared to leave their homes if flooding should occur. Go to www.getprepared.ca for tips on creating a 72-hour emergency kit, and for a list of things to have ready should you be asked to leave at a moment’s notice.

Officials continue to assess the slide site that is affecting 17 properties on evacuation order below Kilkenny Place in the Killiney Beach subdivision of the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. Mitigation efforts will begin as early as Monday.


(UPDATE: May 14th @11:00 a.m.)

An evacuation order issued Saturday evening, due to a slide, remains in effect until further notice for 17 properties below Kilkenny Place in the Killiney Beach subdivision of the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

No one was hurt in the slide, which appears to have impacted at least one home. Eight people received assistance from Emergency Support Services volunteers in Vernon.

Approximately 400 people remain evacuated. Emergency officials are constantly assessing possible changes in the status of remaining evacuation orders and alerts based on a variety of conditions including weather and the impact it has on lake water levels which are continuing to rise and levels and flows of area creeks. The inconvenience and stress posed to those people forced from their homes and properties is always top of mind. Any change to Evacuation Orders will be made only when it is safe to allow residents to return to their homes.

With water levels at record highs and snow remaining in the high elevation watersheds, the potential for flooding due to rain, wind or warm temperatures is still a risk. These conditions for area lakes and creeks are expected to last well into June.

(UPDATE: May 13th @ 7:00 p.m.)

An Evacuation Order has been issued for 17 properties along Kilkenny Place in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area of the regional district.

The following properties are on Evacuation Order: From 9567 to 9697 Kilkenny Place

Late this afternoon a small landslide came down in the Killiney Beach subdivision below Westside Road.

No one was hurt by the sloughing onto these lakeside properties below Kilkenny Place. The slide debris appears to affect at least one home. Until slope stability is assessed, for their safety, eight residents of these properties are being accommodated by Emergency Support Services volunteers from Vernon.

(UPDATE: May 13th @ 5:13 p.m.)

The Evacuation Order has been rescinded for 3545 Bulman Road. While there is no Alert in place, the property owner should be prepared to leave on short notice if conditions change.

While a number of evacuation orders and alerts have been rescinded, residents are reminded that we’re not in the clear just yet. Approximately 400 people remain on evacuation order.

(UPDATE: May 13th @ 7:30 a.m.)

Cooler weather and minimal rain overnight kept flood conditions in a holding pattern, allowing a handful of evacuation orders and alerts to be rescinded.

However, unsettled weather for the foreseeable future means all residents near water need to remain alert to sudden changes and be prepared. This is a weather driven event and any changes in rainfall, warm temperatures or wind could cause conditions to change quickly.

All residents, including those no longer on order or alert, are reminded to keep sandbags in place until the flood watch event has fully ended. High water levels are expected to last for an extended period of time.

Over the past few days, Okanagan Lake has risen on average 5 cm per day and continues to rise. Okanagan Lake is currently 10 cm above full pool. Residents with dwellings along waterways, lakes and beach edges are instructed to not remove the debris along their property, as it can act as a barricade against rising waters and minimize erosion.

Boaters are reminded that lake levels are high with a significant amount of floating debris. Boaters should keep their distance from shorelines, as additional waves could cause disturbance to banks and beaches.

(UPDATE: May 13th @ 7:00 a.m.) More alerts and evacuation orders rescinded

The addresses affected and story can be found here.

(UPDATE: May 12th @ 5:11 p.m.) - The evacuation order for two Marshall Street addresses in Kelowna has been rescinded:

  • 1824 Marshall Street
  • 1826 Marshall Street

The addresses are not currently on evacuation alert. However, if the situation changes an evacuation order may need to be reissued. All other evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect.

(UPDATE: May 12th @ 8:15 a.m.) - Emergency responders continue to monitor creeks and lake levels and plan for the likelihood of flooding given the unstable weather pattern that is expected to last through Sunday.

All previous alerts and orders remain in effect.

Despite less severe than expected weather overnight, rain and snowpack melt remain in the forecast and the Central Okanagan is not out of the woods yet.

The message to “stay prepared” remains as important as ever.

Creek and lake levels remain a concern.

Seven Lake Level Flood Watch Maps are available for waterfront areas adjacent to Okanagan Centre, Carrs Landing, Oyama, the waterfront areas of Peachland and along Westside Road.

Based on current projections, these maps indicate the longer term possibility of flooding due to rising lake levels over the next week or weeks.

They can be viewed on the CORD website.

UPDATE: May 11, 2017 - The Chief and Council of the Westbank First Nation have declared a local state of emergency.

"Forecasts released on Monday could be predicting a one in 200-year event," said Shaun Reimer, Section Head, Public Safety and Protection.

Mayor Colin Basran in the video below has encouraged Kelowna residents to prepare for rising water levels in local creeks and streams and to work together to help friends, family and neighbours during this flooding event.

The Emergency Operations Centre planning team and staff from across the Central Okanagan have been working around the clock to respond to last week’s event and are now preparing for increasing water levels expected by the end of this week. Citizens also need to be proactive and take steps to protect their properties.

Video message from Suburban & Rural Planning Manager at City of Kelowna, Todd Cashin.

Flood Plain Map

City of Kelowna Interactive Flood Plain Map for Mill Creek

Now seven Lake Level Flood Watch Maps are available for waterfront areas adjacent to Okanagan Centre, Carrs Landing, Oyama, the waterfront areas of Peachland and along Westside Road. Based on current projections, these maps indicate the longer term possibility of flooding due to rising lake levels over the next week or weeks. They can be viewed at www.cordemergency.ca/map

Landslide Preparedness:

Depending on the severity of a landslide, you and your family should be prepared to be on your own for several days. Be sure to have an emergency plan and kit, including enough food and water to last for at minimum 72 hours.

Key warning signs for a potential landslide may include:

* Abnormally dirty water.

* Accumulation of large logs or debris.

* Sudden changes in stream flow or volume.

* Changes in water from clear to dirty.

* Rapid accumulation of sediment along flat creek sections.

* Falling rocks, boulders or sliding soil may indicate a larger landslide.

If you hear a faint rumbling sound that increases in volume or unsual sounds such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together, leave the area immediately. Once you have reached safety, call 1 800 663-3456 to report the situation. If you are caught in a landslide with no option to evacuate, curl in a tight ball and protect your head and neck.

Evacuation Orders and Alerts - UPDATE May 10, 2017 8:00 a.m.

On Tuesday night Lake Country issued alerts for 580 properties. For a full list of all current evacuation orders and alerts visit: cordemergency.ca

On Monday Evacuation Orders for more than 300 units have been rescinded. Currently there are 45 units in Kelowna, 138 units in the IR#7 and one in Lake Country under Evacuation Order, as well as 63 units under Evacuation Alert in Lake Country. Check out https://www.cordemergency.ca/map for current Evacuation Alerts, Orders, sand and sandbag locations and more.

An evacuation order means residents should take everything required for an extended stay and follow the instructions provided in the evacuation order. Only residents on order to evacuate are eligible for Essential Support Services (ESS) registration and vouchers.

An evacuation alert means that residents may be asked to leave their homes on very short notice for an extended period of time. Residents should prepare by organizing an emergency supply kit with necessary medications, personal toiletries, change of clothing and personal and family documents.

In the case of non-emergency flood conditions in their homes or neighbourhoods residents should be prepared to shelter in place for up to 72 hours. This means residents may be unable to leave their homes or drive to services like the grocery store.

Prepare an emergency supply of food and water. Consider how much you will need for all members of the family.
Prepare for any pets. Pets may not be able to go outside and you will need food and water as well as a place and cleaning supplies to deal with pet waste.
Call or text your emergency contact. Let them know where you are, if any family members are missing, and how you are doing.
Use your phone only as necessary. Keep the phone handy in case you need to report a life threatening emergency. Otherwise, do not use the phone, so that the lines will be available for emergency responders.

Keep listening to your radio, television, or phone for updates. Do not leave your shelter unless authorities tell you it is safe to do so. If they tell you to evacuate the area, follow their instructions.

Weather Forecast - UPDATE May 10, 2017 8:00 a.m.

The short-term forecast is calling for significant rain starting late Thursday. Citizens should keep in place all protective measures. Citizens who live in low lying areas near creeks and lakes that may be susceptible to flooding should also take preventative measures to protect their properties. All measures currently being used to protect private properties should remain in place.

With warm temperatures, rising freezing levels and 25-40 mm of rain forecast for Thursday to Sunday, rising water levels throughout the valley are a real concern. Warmer than average temperatures are expected to begin the high elevation snowpack melt and combine with the heavy precipitation to raise local lake levels and create record flows in creeks. Residents near floodplains are being asked to prepare for a second wave of high water.

An advanced planning team and staff from local governments from across the Central Okanagan have been working around the clock since last week. The region-wide team is monitoring and preparing for increasing water levels expected by the end of the week. Plans are in place to protect vital public infrastructure.

The combination of rain and spring snow melt for the next few days will lead to rising water levels, likely to peak on Thursday, and may increase the risk of flooding. The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Center and emergency personnel and volunteers are planning for the worst while hoping for the best, and citizens should do the same.

Be Prepared - UPDATE May 10, 2017 8:00 a.m.

Citizens can take measures to minimize damage likely removing items from basements and be prepared to leave by gathering all essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (i.e. insurance) and immediate care needs for dependants and having these items readily available for quick departure; preparing to move any disabled persons and/or children; moving pets and livestock to a safe area; and arranging accommodation for your family if possible. Sign up for e-updates at cordemergency.ca for the most current information regarding the floods.

Citizens should keep in place and bolster all protective measures put in place to date due to forecast. Citizens who live in low lying areas near creeks and lakes that may be susceptible to flooding should also take preventative measures to protect their properties.

Livestock Relocation:

Livestock owners are strongly encouraged to review their emergency livestock relocation plans and begin preparing for higher waters.

Livestock owners preparing for higher waters and landslides should consider:

* Having a plan for animals, making sure enough food, water, shelter, and veterinary supplies are available.

* Identifying other sites or famers where livestock can safely be relocated outside of the evacuation area.

* Identifying available transportation avenues and be in possession of appropriate livestock ID for movement.

* Contact the Emergency Operations Centre to request information about relocating livestock if needed.

* Making arrangements for pets and hobby animals in the event they cannot go to the same shelter as their owners.

Recreational Closures - UPDATE May 15, 2017 2:30 p.m.

The Mission Creek Greenway is accessible for visitors as water levels in the creek are lower. A section of the recreational trail and dike between KLO Road and Gordon Drive was raised in an effort to mitigate possible flooding from potentially record flows. More than 200 dump trucks and pup trailers dropped about 3,000 cubic meters of materials to raise the surface.

As well, the lower area and parking lot at Bertram Creek Regional Park has been reopened.

The Regional District reminds everyone that the threat of flooding continues and there could be unexpected increases in water levels along area creeks and streams. Visitors and leashed pets should stay back from creek banks, which can be slippery and subject to erosion.

The following Regional Parks remain closed:

Glen Canyon Regional Park from the Acorn bridge downstream to the Gellatly Road parking area and from the Constable Neil Bruce entrance upstream to the Covington Crescent entrance at Last Mountain Community Park
Hardy Falls Regional Park
Mill Creek Regional Park
Killiney Beach Community Park is closed to all visitors, with limited vehicle access through the park for waterfront properties.

Regional Parks staff is monitoring creek levels in all these areas and when safe will be assessing the condition of bridges, trails and other amenities in these parks. Parks may be closed on short notice should conditions change.

UPDATE May 10, 2017 8:00 a.m.

Signs and fencing are in place at each entrance of the closed trail and for their safety residents are asked to stay out as heavy equipment will be working on these portions of the recreational trail.

And the lower Gellatly Road parking area and trail to Brown Road in in Glen Canyon Regional Parkare also still closed due to flooding along Powers Creek.

In addition, flooding has forced the closures of Hardy Falls Regional Park and Mill Creek Regional Park. Killiney Beach Community Park is also closed to all visitors, with limited vehicle access through the park for waterfront properties.

New Park Closures

Expanded partial closure of Glen Canyon Regional Park from the Acorn bridge downstream to the Gellatly Road parking area.
Partial closure of Glen Canyon Regional Park from the Constable Neil Bruce entrance upstream to the Covington Crescent entrance at Last Mountain Community Park
Partial closure of Bertram Creek Regional Park lower parking area and park area to the north of Bertram Creek
Expanded closure of the Mission Creek Greenway from the EECO (Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan) downstream to Lakeshore Road and from Hollywood Road South entrance upstream to Scenic Canyon Regional Park Field Road entrance.

People are reminded that water levels in area creeks may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.

Boaters and those using Okanagan Lake boat launches are advised to watch for floating debris that may enter the lake as a result of the runoff.

Register for Emergency Support Services - Updated May 9, 2017, 1:50 p.m.

Evacuees can register at the Emergency Support Services Reception Centre until 5 p.m. today.

Residents on Evacuation Order should report and register at the Emergency Support Services (ESS) Reception Centre located in the Salvation Army Church, 1480 Sutherland Avenue (corner of Burtch Road and Sutherland Avenue).

The ESS will be open today until 5 p.m., open on Wednesday, May 9 between 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and open Thursday, May 11 between 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The ESS offers food and accommodation vouchers for evacuees who are unable to access their homes. Due to a shortage of hotel space on Friday and Saturdaynights, evacuees are encouraged to try and find temporary accommodation with family and friends.

Water Notices and Stream Advisories - UPDATE May 13, 2017 12:35 p.m.

Free bulk water available for West Kelowna, Peachland and West Bank First Nation.

Learn more about Water Alerts here.

The boil water advisory remains in effect for all Westbank First Nation IR#9 residents and businesses.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the Falcon Ridge, and now Boil Water Notices for the Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates water systems.

Lake Country restricts water use to domestic only. In the wake of recent flooding, the District of Lake has issued an Urgent Water Notice advising that residents restrict their water use to domestic use only.

The City of West Kelowna has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents serviced by the Pritchard and Sunnyside Water Systems due to increased turbidity in water drawn from Okanagan Lake.

City issues Water Quality Advisory for Swick Road water Intake - click here for properties affected.

A Water Quality Advisory has been issued for all customers in the City of Kelowna water utility. A Water Quality Advisory alerts residents that there is a modest health risk associated with consuming water.

South East Kelowna Irrigation District users are currently under a Boil Water Notice.

Click here for status of the five major water purveyors in the City of Kelowna boundaries.

Residents are asked to continue to exercise caution near any area creeks and streams. Flood waters may contain a number of hazards including raw sewage, chemical and biological contaminants, fast moving water, debris, entrapment and unseen hazards. Please keep children and pets safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion by the higher, swifter moving water. There is also the potential for unexpected rapid increases in water levels.

The River Forecast Centre issues streamflow advisories and warnings when necessary to provide alerts to potential flood conditions in the stream systems of the province. Please refer to the River Forecast Centre website for updated streamflow advisories or warnings. http://bcrf.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/index.htm

All Central Okanagan residents are being asked to limit the amount of water going down drains to limit the strain on wastewater systems.

Road Closures

Click here for road information in the Southern Interior – Travel Advisories

West Kelowna is dealing with multiple road closures due to high water or stability concerns. Click here for roads affected.

Due to washouts and deteriorating road conditions, travel is not recommended on Chute Lake Road.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall may cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots. Turn around when encountering flooded roads, don’t attempt to drive through or around the water.

All residents of the Central and Southeast regions of the province are reminded to stay as far away from flood waters as possible and exercise extreme caution when driving. Drivers should go to DriveBC.ca for up-to-date information on road conditions and closures.

Photo credit: Jack Maddison - Chute Lake Road washed out 2 km past Chute Lake Lodge

Residents on Evacuation Order should report and register at the Emergency Support Services Reception Centre located in the Salvation Army Church, 1480 Sutherland Avenue (corner of Burtch Road and Sutherland Avenue), which will reopen tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Photo credit: KelownaNow

Exercise caution if you are out on Okanagan Lake as heavy spring runoffs from the various creeks have deposited a lot of debris into the lake. Story here.

Photo credit: Denise Egan - Lots of debris near Rotary Beach

Photos and video from the flooding

If you have photos and or video you can send them to News@KelownaNow.com.

VIDEO & PHOTOS: Helicopter view of the Okanagan's flooded areas

Photos: Kelowna captures the flood

Returning home

Residents and property owners that are no longer under Evacuation Order and now able to access their property need to be aware that properties may not be habitable or have full services, such as electrical and/or natural gas. Residents who have registered with Emergency Support Services can continue to use any unused vouchers.

Residents with property managers should see them to obtain information on the safety and status of their property.

Emergency Management BC has information available for residents returning home after flooding. Some areas of importance include the safety of drinking water, safety regarding electrical and gas utilities, food safety and caution surrounding removal of furniture and building materials. For more information, click here,

Evacuation Alert

Residents on Evacuation Alert should be prepared to be away from their homes for an extended period of time, make arrangements for pets and pack essential items such as medicines and important documents. Visit the www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared for more information.

Emergency Support Services

Emergency Support Services has been receiving many enquiries from generous residents offering accommodation for those displaced by flooding. Unfortunately, it’s not able to handle these offers. A notice board is available on the wall outside the entrance door to the reception centre for anyone who would like to display their lodging information including first name, phone number, details of accommodation available and if pets are welcome. The Reception Centre is located in the Salvation Army Church at 1480 Sutherland Avenue (corner of Burtch Road and Sutherland Avenue) and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.

Sand and Sandbags

In Kelowna - Sandbags

are available at City of Kelowna Fire Station #1 at 2255 Enterprise Way.

In Kelowna - Sand & Sandbags:

Burne Avenue, west of Ethel Street at Mill Creek
221 Adams Road – North Reeds Corner area (Industrial Park)
1870 Maple Street – Downtown area
1118 Brookside Road – Capri area
Radant Road (two sites) – Mission area

Pre-filled Sandbags, Sand and Sand Bags

End of Bluebird Road – Mission area
Truswell Road – Mission area
Cook Road Boat Launch outside the Hotel Eldorado - Mission
Rowcliffe Avenue at Richter Street – Downtown/Sutherland
Burtch Road – Apple Bowl Parking Lot

West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation residents:

Sand and Sandbags

In Green Bay at 1341 Green Bay Road, Osprey Park and at the Wiig Road cul-de-sac
2606 and 2714 Casa Loma Road
1651 Pritchard Drive
4081 Hitchner Road
2589 Whitworth Rd (Pebble Beach Park)
Across from the WFN Works and Utilities yard at the intersection of Cougar Road and Elk Road (approximate address 3500 Red Cloud Way)
515 Highway 97 South (WFN Government Building) to the right of the main parking lot

Lake Country:

Sand and Sandbags

Swalwell Park at 9950 Bottom Wood Lake Road
Deldor Rd at Mayrus Rd
Beasley Park on Woodsdale Road

Sand

Okanagan Centre Fire Hall (10591 Okanagan Centre Rd. East)

Peachland:

Sandbags

Peachland Fire Department at 4401 3rd Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Outside of these times and on Weekends, please call fire dispatch at 250-469-8801 to arrange a pick up time.

Sand

At the end of Chidley Road

RDCO Electoral area residents:

Sand and Sandbags

Ellison Fire Department – 4411 Old Vernon Road
North Westside Fire Rescue – Short’s Creek Firehall, Westside Road (call 250-545-1195 to arrange pick up. (Fintry, Valley of the Sun, Killiney, West Shore)
Wilson’s Landing Fire Department – 2396 Westside Road North (Trader’s Cove)
Joe Rich Fire Rescue Main hall 11481 Highway 33
Goudie hall 6550 Goudie Road

How to fill a sandbag

Filling sandbags is normally a two-person job. One person should crouch with feet apart and arms extended, with the bottom of the empty bag on the ground, holding the bag open while another person shovels sand into the bag.

Step 1:

Fill the bag halfway. Do not add more sand, as it will not help. Filling the bag halfway with sand allows the bag to be moved more easily. A properly filled sand bag should weigh between 35-40 lbs. Be sure to wear gloves, plus goggles to protect your eyes from the sand.

Step 2:

Close the top of the bag. Scrunch the walls of the bag together like a candy bag. Sandbags filled one-half to two-thirds full should generally be left untied.

Step 3:

Use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury and fatigue. Lift with your legs and bend at the knees to save your back.

Lay the sandbag flat and roughly parallel to the expected flow of water and debris. Make sure the closed end of the sandbag is facing in the general direction of the expected flow, and fold the open end of the sandbag diagonally away from the expected flow.

Check out more tips for sandbag preparation from Prepared BC here.

For status updates on the State of Emergency in the Central Okanagan, click here.

For up to date information on the situation including a map and to sign up for e-updates, click here.

Preparing your Grab and Go Kit

Residents in the Central Okanagan can get prepared for possible emergency evacuation by creating a 72 Hour Emergency Grab and Go Kit. Residents are also being asked to limit the amount of water drained into sewer systems.

Your Grab and Go Kit should include:

Food (ready to eat) and water
Flashlight and batteries
AM/FM radio
Medications
Seasonal clothing
Blanket
Cell phone charger
Pen and notepad
Personal toiletries
Small First-Aid kit
Extra pair of glasses or contacts
Cash in small bills
Local map with your family meeting place identified
Whistle

Residents with pets should also consider including supplies for their pets.

Disaster Financial Assistance

The BC Government announced that Disaster Financial Assistance is available to Central Okanagan residents affected by the recent flooding. Applications must be submitted by August 5 to Emergency Management BC and are available online at www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance.

Information on Flood Preparedness and Returning After a Flood

The Preparedness BC website has information to help those property owners with protecting their property from flooding and some considerations for those returning after a flood.

Interior Health also has information available for residents to consider Before, During and After a Flood. Information on flooding and electrical safety is also available for BC Hydro and FortisBC (electrical and natural gas) customers: www.bchydro.com and www.fortisbc.com.

The Boil Water Advisory for Westbank First Nation IR#9 continues. More information and a water system map are available at www.wfn.ca/wfnnews.htm.

For up to date information on the situation including a map and to sign up for e-updates, visit www.cordemergency.ca. Anyone noticing a potential problem or a flooding concern is asked to call the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8801.


 
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