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Monitoring the snowpack

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is keeping an eye on the snowpack in two basins that could impact water flow in the region later this spring.

"Right now, the Similkameen snow basin is at 118 per cent of normal," said Dale Kronebusch, emergency services supervisor. "The snow pillow on four monitored peaks within the basin is well above normal right now."

But that doesn't  necessarily mean an increased flood risk for the region this year.

"Right now, above-normal runoff is expected in the Similkameen during spring melt," Kronebusch said. "But seasonal weather during the melt is an important factor in determining whether or not flooding will occur. These cooler days and below zero nights are helping to slow the melting process."

Snow pack in the Okanagan basin is currently at 94 percent of normal.

The regional district will continue to monitor snowpack levels, with six to eight weeks still remaining in the snow season, and also keep an eye on the weather.

Seasonal forecasts from Environment Canada indicate a modest chance of above normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the March to May 2014 period.

The regional district will provide more information on water run-off and flood risk as the spring melt progresses.

If necessary, information on the availability of sandbags will also be provided. 

The federal government's Get Prepared website also offers several tips to property owners and others to reduce the likelihood of flood damage.

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