May 24, 2013 / 2:33 pm
Update: The owner of KBM Auto Works in Lumby says he expects to take up to $10,000 in losses after his auto yard and body shop experienced significant flooding on Thursday.
Bill Maltman says he doesn't know for sure yet what the final damages will be, he's just hoping the water level continues to decline.
He is thankful that Lumby municipal staff and forestry personnel were able to help
"The guys did the best they could with the sandbagging. It probably saved us a lot. Now, hopefully mother nature will cooperate."
Maltman has been at the location for more than 20 years, and never had a problem with flooding until 2012.
"We learned a lot from the flooding last year so we were a little better prepared," said Maltman.
For now, Maltman and his staff are trying to make do with the space they have to serve their customers.
-- Melissa Ligertwood
Rising water levels on Duteau Creek in Lumby are causing problems for approximately 50 homes in the area and Mayor Kevin Acton is adamant the issue should have been fixed years ago.
“We’re definitely in a flood situation. It’s backing up so high it’s causing some problems with our sewage system,” says Acton, who adds that his office has already received over a dozen calls from residents concerned about possible flooding.
The Okanagan Valley has witnessed its fair share of precipitation this week and while Acton understands there are always potential problems caused by spring runoffs that are only compounded by torrential rain, he notes the reservoirs atop the Aberdeen Plateau were left high and have now flooded over and begun to spread down to the valley below.
He says the community’s main gripe is with the Vernon and District Water Works, who are controlled by the Regional District of the North Okanagan.
“They knew the snowpack was over average this year, they know it rains this time of year, they should have let water out previous to the flooding and used that reservoir as a little bit of flood mitigation and we probably wouldn’t be in this situation we’re in now,” says Acton.
“The engineer for the water system came out and said there was no control at that water source that could have helped but I disagree. You’re putting a dam in place and you take control of the water, period. Now that the dam is there I feel like they’re 100 per cent responsible for what happens down stream whether it’s drying up or whether it’s flooding, some science needs to be applied to it.”
This is not the first time Lumby has found itself in a flood situation and Acton says he has brought up these issues with the Regional District for the past four years in a row.
“The point is there’s an opportunity there to learn from this year and last year and the year before and make some changes that aren’t going to flood us out.”
Acton says its all hands on deck in Lumby with the fire department and public works employees diligently filling sandbags while pumper trucks are busy emptying storm sewers to mitigate the backup of plumbing into homes.
“We’re going hard and fast on what you would think is a major flood in any other place… and it really is a challenge.“
Brent Watson with the Emergency Management Program says the water is higher in Duteau Creek now than it was last year when several areas throughout the Okanagan were hit hard by flooding.
"It looks like Duteau Creek has been hit pretty hard. Three or four houses along Duteau Creek have been impacted primarily and water has come up pretty close to the bridges," says Watson.
"All the sandbagging efforts have been devoted to those areas. Crews will be back tomorrow to fill sandbags so they are ready for people because the reality is private property owners have to provide for their own protection."
Watson says crews are doing all they can to help but adds this is, by far, the toughest task firefighters face.
"There is no holding back the water. It's not like a fire when, if you action it, you can usually extinguish it."
Rain in the forecast in the North Okanagan for the next several days could mean higher water levels are still to come.
Watson says as long as the diking holds, residents should be okay.
May 21, 2013 / 5:19 pm
The BC River Forecast Centre is issuing a 'High Streamflow Advisory' for the Central Interior following a significant upper-low pressure system that is developing through southern BC and is expected to bring an eastern flow of moist air through the Interior over the next several days.
Heavy rainfall in excess of 50 - 75 mm is expected over a five day period starting, Tuesday (May 21) from Princeton up through the Puntzi Lake area of the Chilcotin.
River levels through the Interior are expected to rise rapidly beginning Wednesday, with the potential for further rises later in the week.
The lake level is anticipated to rise substantially due to the increased outflow from both the Salmon and Shuswap Rivers.
If you reside in the Shuswap and your property is prone to flooding, the Shuswap Emergency Program advises owners to take all necessary actions to protect their property.
Residents are responsible for having a personal plan, as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their homes and properties.
For steps on how to plan and be prepared for an emergency, visit the SEP website.
May 21, 2013 / 3:31 pm
Ever wonder if it's legal to do an old fashioned burnout on a public roadway?
Wonder no more, because the answer is NO, as an unidentified biker learned the hard way over the weekend.
Following the Falkland Stampede Parade Sunday the motorcyclist decided to draw a 'happy face' on Highway 97 in Falkland by burning a little rubber.
The image did not put a happy face on an RCMP traffic member's face who saw the stunting and conducted an investigation.
The driver provided sample which turned out to be under the legal limit.
He was, however, issued a ticket for the traffic offences.
May 21, 2013 / 2:01 pm
Sunday afternoon kicked off with a scary moment for rodeo fans at the Falkland Stampede.
Bareback rider, Jason Havens of Prineville Oregon, was thrown from his horse at the start of Sunday's rodeo event.
Witnesses say Havens got caught up in his rig and was trampled by his horse as well as one of the rescue horses.
Early reports on Sunday afternoon described Havens as being in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.
"He took a couple knocks to the head and his arm as well. Sounds like he's going to be alright, he's got some serious injuries, but he's going to be fine," said Falkland Stampede manager, Jason Churchill.
Havens was rushed to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops where he is being treated for a concussion, broken shoulder, and broken vertebra, says Churchill.
Havens' wife, Brook, flew in from Oregon on Monday. She was not available for an interview, but says they are keeping busy at the hospital with a lot of visitors.
Jason Churchill says he's been in contact with Havens' friends and family, and all reports point towards a good recovery.
"I am told he's up and walking around today. They kept him in hospital last night for observation because of the possibility of blood clots. But they are hoping to release him today," said Churchill.
Havens, age 36, won three professional titles in 2012 and has qualified for the Wrangler National Rodeo Finals five times.
May 21, 2013 / 1:47 pm
A man wanted on seven outstanding warrants for various offences was arrested by Salmon Arm RCMP on Sunday.
The 34-year-old man initially gave police a false name and then attempted to flee from the arresting officers, before he was taken into custody after a brief scuffle.
No name has been released, but the man is said to be known police.
Read more North Okanagan News
- Flood protection May 21
- Falkland rodeo photo gallery May 20
- Falkland rodeo 'no bull' for community May 20
- Images from Falkland Stampede May 20
- Body recovered from Shuswap Lake May 14