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Okanagan Lake may come close to 2017’s historic flood level

Officials are bracing for the imminent rise of Okanagan Lake following this week’s heatwave.

The Okanagan's snowpack was measured at 200% of normal this spring, a number not seen since 1980, and officials confirm it has been rapidly melting.

As a result, Okanagan Lake could now reach a peak flood level of 343 metres, only 25 centimetres below last year's record flood level.

“The recent heatwave was almost historic and it has caused enhanced snowmelt, which is now entering Okanagan Lake even faster than it did last year,” said Shaun Reimer of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow. </who> KelownaNow file photo from the 2017 floods.

“Currently, we are 32 centimeters below where we were at this time last year and I do believe we will have reached full pool by tomorrow.”

As the lake approaches the full pool level, residents in low-lying areas and waterfront property owners who were affected by rising lake levels in 2017 are being urged to take precautions.

There is no exact date for when Okanagan Lake may reach the 343 metre peak flood level, however officials predict if it does reach peak level it could be by early June.

Last year, Okanagan Lake reached its maximum of 343.25 metres on June 9, 2017.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow.

The recent drop in temperature is good news for rising lake levels, however officials say the lake is very vulnerable to any rain the region may receive this weekend.

Sand and sandbags are available throughout the region and new locations have been added.

For updated information on locations, click here.



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