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Vernon  

Vernon flood protection

Residents and visitors to Vernon are being reminded to leave flood protection measures in place and bolster them in preparation for high water and possible windy conditions.

The BC River Forecast has indicated there is the potential for Okanagan Lake to increase to 343.15 metres.  

Environment Canada reported Okanagan Lake reached 343.05 metres at 11:25 a.m. on Saturday.

This is a five centimetre rise since Friday at 4 a.m. when the lake level was reported as 343 metres.

The high lake levels and variable weather conditions are expected to persist for the foreseeable future. 

Residents are reminded that this is a weather driven event and things will continue to evolve with the weather.

The City of Vernon is continuing to monitor rising lake levels.

The increase of lake levels being reported out by various agencies will depend on what time period is being used to report out on.  

Sandbags and sand for emergency flooding can be picked up at the following locations:

-Outside Operations main entrance off of Pleasant Valley Road

-4005 Pleasant Valley Road

-Corner of Okanagan Avenue and Okanagan Landing Road (across from Marshall Fields)

-Okanagan Hills Boulevard and Bella Vista Road intersection (entrance to the Rise community)

-8974 Okanagan Landing Road 

Powerboats are not recommended on Okanagan or Kalamalka Lake during high water levels because of the risk of damage to shoreline, private property and infrastructure from boat wakes.

Boat propellers can also be damaged by the high level of debris in the water. 

 

 



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Evac alerts for Westside Rd.

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan has issued an evacuation alert for five properties on the north end of Westside Road.

The properties are:

  • 9415 Hodges Road
  • 9425 Hodges Road
  • 9435 Hodges Road
  • 9445 Hodges Road
  • 9467 Kilkenny Place

Residents in these areas should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice should conditions along the waterfront change. 

If they haven’t already, people are being advised they should take steps to protect their properties from potential flooding by sandbagging and moving any items from crawlspaces and basements.  Sand and sand bag locations can be found on cordemergency.ca.  Sand is continually being replenished. 

For detailed information about the alerts, go to the Regional Emergency Program website map.

All other evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect.



Driving some fun

A local auto dealership helped drive some money to an area school Saturday.

The Watkin Motors Ford Drive 4 UR School Family Fun Day was held at Beairsto Elementary School.

Lisa Fogel, with the Beairsto Parent Advisory Council, said for every test drive taken in a new Ford, the auto giant would donate $20 to the school to a maximum of $6,000.

Fogel said the money would be used for a new green space and outdoor learning environment for the downtown school.

Ford will hold four more fun days at area schools this year.

Along with test drives, the fun day featured a variety of games, activities, food vendors and more.



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In dire need of help

Melissa Frost is in desperate need of sand and some extra help.

Frost is staying with her 86-year-old grandfather and her boyfriend Mike Holloway at her grandfather's home near Newport Beach on Westside Road.

“Right now, we're in dire need of sand. We can't find any pits that are open. We have enough left for about 100 bags. We've already used about 3,000 bags and my granddad figures we need another 3,000,” she said Saturday.

As Okanagan Lake rose, the family took steps to protect the home her grandfather has lived in for 45 years, but then the winds came.

Tuesday's wind storm kicked up waves that wreaked havoc on the wall of sandbags they had in place, causing the water to flow past the barricade.

“It was coming right up over our deck and into our house. We sandbagged the sliding door,” she said. “It damaged the existing sandbags. We had to go back under and redo the house; that was the first thing we did. But now we have to work on the beach because if we don't, it will get under the house.”

The home is on OKIB land and Frost said the band was helping out “but their truck broke down and they can't get us any more sand. Right now need more sand and people to help fill sandbags.”

Frost is in a race against time as Okanagan Lake is expected rise between 10-15 more centimetres this week.

Anyone able to help Frost and her family can call her at 519-755-1118.



Now that's a mega sale

It was the hottest ticket of the day.

On Saturday, the Allan Brooks Nature Centre kicked off its annual Spring Mega Garage and Plant Sale.

Hundreds of people browsed thousands of items under sunny skies to raise money for the non-profit nature centre.

Janice Buick, ABNC operations and volunteer manager, said the sale is shaping up to be one of the biggest they have ever had.

Gates opened at 8 a.m., but people were starting to line up at 7 a.m.

“It is the best garage and plant sale in town,” said Buick as a steady stream of cars pulled into the nature centre.

“It will be running today until four, tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then next Saturday, June 3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.”

Buick said money raised from the event will go toward various programs run by the ABNC.

“We do a lot of school programs, summer camps, family fun nights and we will be bringing the raptors back to fly,” said Buick.

Raptor Weeks return July 18 to Aug. 20 for what has proved to be an unforgettable and unique experience for many.

Last summer, nearly 2,000 people made their way to the ABNC to experience live birds-of-prey programs in the grasslands.

Raptor Weeks in 2016 were so popular, ABNC and partner Pacific Northwest Raptors decided to extend the program to five consecutive weeks in 2017.

Buick said the ABNC is all about “nature, art and conservation.”



Missing sr found in forest

Vernon Search and Rescue helped locate a missing 80-year-old woman, Friday.

The woman had been missing since morning in the Vernon Foothills area. She was found in the forest, where she had fallen down an embankment and injured herself.

Searchers, police and paramedics carried her down the hill to a waiting ambulance, which whisked her off to Vernon Jubilee Hospital for treatment.

As was being transferred, VSAR received a second callout to assist with a motor vehicle accident near the rail trail by Kalamalka Lake.

The subject was transported by RCMP to a waiting ambulance at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park.

VSAR has had a busy week, being called out on 10 incidents in the past six days, said spokesman Trevor Honigman.



Dancing for Eli

While Eli Johannson fights cancer for the second time in his young life, the community is rallying around him and his family.

Along with a Go Fund Me page to help the Coldstream family cover the expenses of caring for their child, a Zoomba-thon has also been organized.

Sareena Nickoli, of Soul Studio, said the event came together in about a week and she is hoping to see people come out and support the family.

The Zoomba-thon takes place Monday, May 29 starting at 5 p.m. at the recreation complex.

Tickets can be purchased by downloading the Soul Studio app for free. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Nickoli said 100 per cent of the money raised from the Zoomba-thon will go to the family.

“My goal is to get 200 people out,” said Nickoli.

There will also be a silent auction with numerous items donated from the community.

“Just in the last two days we've had tremendous donations from Vernon. It makes me teary just to think about everything that is coming in,” said Nickoli. “Our goal is to raise as much money as we can. All proceeds are going to Eli and his family.”

Eli, 6, is fighting the aggressive neuroblastoma cancer for the second time.

The disease allows cancer cells to form in the nerve tissue of the adrenal gland, neck, chest or spinal cord and is the third most common childhood cancer.

Eli was first diagnosed at the age of three and spent 18 months fighting the illness at the BC Children's Hospital.

Last month, the family learned the cancer had returned.



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