Homes flooded after storm

At least a dozen Kelowna homes were flooded Tuesday, after a short, intense rainfall rolled through town.

The storm hit downtown Kelowna about 9:30 a.m.., causing significant flooding in some areas, including along Mill Creek, near Burtch and Springfield roads.

“It seems like the streets filled up and the system couldn't really handle a lot of it. Gutters were overflowing and were entering people's homes,” said Marisa Wilson, general manager of Total Restoration.

Wilson says they've responded to about a dozen homes in the area, all with about an inch of water in the basement.

“(It was) a big torrential downpour that happened quite quickly and dissipated quickly, but left quite a disaster,” she said. “Because it's rain water, it's contaminated water, so we have to treat it differently. It's not like water from a leaking pipe, it's actually considered dirty water, so we have to treat it kind of like a sewer backup.”

Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said while he recorded next to no rain at his office at UBC Okanagan, his own personal weather station near Springfield and Gordon Drive recorded 20 millimetres of rain between 9:29 and 10:04 a.m. 

"That's incredible," Lundquist said. "That happens once every 50 to 100 years."

Significant flooding also occurred on West Kelowna's Gellatly Road Tuesday morning, and the Summerland weather station recorded 16 mm between midnight and 11 a.m.

“It's a system where one side of the street might get doused and the other side might get nothing,” he said.

He says the humidity in Kelowna Tuesday is unseasonably high and the air mass that rolled through was very unstable as a result. Environment Canada's forecast calls for a 70 per cent chance of showers this afternoon, with a risk of thunderstorms.

Wilson says she expects they'll receive some more calls later into the afternoon, after people get home from work and find water in their basements.

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