More flooding 'imminent'

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.

Emergency Operations Staff are bracing for the worst as a second storm prepares to batter the water-logged Southern Interior.

Forecast are calling for another storm, similar to the one which hit the region last Thursday, to hit again tomorrow.

"Localized flooding in the Kelowna region is imminent. What we are expecting to see is unprecedented water levels resulting from rain, rising temperature and melting snowpack," said EOC head Brian Reardon.

"The ground is already saturated, in other words, the perfect storm. We are planning for the worst, and hoping for the best. Residents should do the same."

The storm, which is expected to hit the area sometime tomorrow afternoon, will cause water levels to begin peaking late Thursday evening, or early Friday morning, according to Reardon.

"If you haven't started preparing, now is the time.

"Last week's flooding may prove to be just a dress rehearsal for a much larger event."

He says those who experienced flooding last week should anticipate the same, or worse. Those living along creeks and streams who escaped the first wave of flood activity should expect to see some.

Reardon reminded property owners they are responsible for protecting their own property.

"Sand and sandbags are available around the Central Okanagan. The demand is huge, and we are continuing to replenish those supplies."

Hotel and motel rooms are booked up for the weekend, so Reardon said people living in danger areas should make arrangements to stay with family or friends, or, if you have an RV, make plans to use it.

He added flooding from these two storms could eclipse the last major flooding event in 1997.

Original Story 10 a.m.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. to provide information about "imminent flooding expected to start Thursday evening."

Representatives will discuss advance planning and expected water conditions.

The EOC says a combination of rain and spring snow melt for the next few days will lead to rising water levels, likely to peak on Thursday, and may increase the risk of flooding.

Emergency personnel and volunteers are planning for the worst while hoping for the best, the centre says.

EOC staff have been working round the clock to respond to ongoing flooding, but residents are reminded they need to be proactive and take steps to protect their properties.

Reduce damage by removing items from basements and gathering essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, etc, in case you have to leave quickly.

Sandbags are available at the Kelowna firehall on Enterprise Way. Sand and sandbags are available at Swalwell Park in Lake Country. Sand is available outside the Hotel Eldorado on Cook Road in Kelowna and on Commonwealth Road by Holiday Park in Lake Country. In West Kelowna, sand is available at 1341 Green Bay Rd., 2606 Casa Loma, 1651 Pritchard Dr., 4081 Hitchner Rd. and in Pebble Park at 2589 Whitworth Rd. 

Sand and sandbags will be replenished throughout the day. 

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