Watching the water rise

Freshet preparations are ramping up across the Central Okanagan.

With temperatures in the mid-teens this weekend and as high as 20 C next week, spring runoff is expected to swell creeks and waterways.

Emergency officials and local governments are responding to small landslides and localized flooding already, as saturated ground and high water levels combine to make trouble.

Properties along Okanagan Lake are not at risk of flooding at this time, nor is it expected to be a problem this year. However, the Emergency Operation Centre has been activated to support localized flooding anticipated along creeks in the region. Sandbagging and the installation of bladder dams has already begun in some areas. 

Homeowners are reminded they are responsible for protecting their property.

Sand and sandbags are available at:

  • Kelowna – Apple Bowl parking area, 1555 Burtch Rd.
  • West Kelowna – Kinsmen Works Yard - 3170 Shannon Lake Rd.
  • Across the street from Glenrosa Firehall – 3390 Gates Rd.
  • Across the street from Rose Valley Firehall – 1608Westlake Rd.
  • Road end – 4081 Hitchner Rd.
  • West Kelowna Yacht Club – 4111 Gellatly Rd.
  • Peachland – Sand at 5432 Chidley Rd. Sandbags at Peachland Fire Hall – 4405 3rd Ave.
  • RDCO – Two firehalls in Joe Rich – 114881 Highway 33 and 6550 Goudie Rd.
  • Short’s Creek Firehall – 7355 Westside Rd.
  • Wilson’s Landing Firehall – 2396 Westside Rd.
  • Ellison Firehall – 4111 Old Vernon Rd.

If you have to build a sandbag wall, check these Emergency Management BC tips.

Crews are monitoring waterways and culverts, and are in daily contact with provincial authorities. They expect it will be two to four weeks – depending on weather – before spring runoff peaks in the valley bottom. Some smaller creeks fed from low-level snow melt have already started to rise.

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