Flood risk lowers, for now

Despite decreasing water levels behind Secrest Hill Road, north of Oliver, 148 homes remain on evacuation alert.

The alert was put into place Monday, after rains drastically increased water levels behind nearby dams, putting the homes below at risk of water breaching the dam.

Emergency pumping crews have been working in the area all week, and water levels have gone down “temporarily,” according to the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen.

Paul Edmonds, RDOS emergency operations centre director, says this is “reducing the risk of the road failing and releasing a debris flow into downstream properties along Sportsmens Bowl Road.”

While it's good news for now, the RDOS is expecting water flow to increase in the coming weeks.

“Significant water is expected to come down as warmer temperatures start melting the near record snow pack,” Edmonds said in a release.

“Engineers for the RDOS are working with the Province of BC to determine how to divert water flow back into the existing creek path in Sportsmens Bowl.”

BC Wildfire crews are also in the area reinforcing key spots with sandbags.

The regional district is encouraging residents living in areas that have the potential to flood to begin preparing now.

The Emergency Operations Centre can be reached at 250-490-4225.

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