Lake nears historic level

Okanagan Lake is nearing record levels.

Jodie Foster, information officer with the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre, says the lake rose another four centimetres over night.

The lake is now at 342.91 metres above sea level, just nine cm shy of its predicted level.

"We have now passed both the 1997 flood level and the 1990 flood level," said Foster. "The highest level on record was 1948, when it was also at 343 metres."

Foster says most of the mid-level elevation snowpack, which feeds many of the smaller creeks and streams, has melted away. However, the high-level snowpack which feeds Mission Creek continues to melt as temperatures creep upward.

Mission Creek continues to run high and fast, carrying debris with it into Okanagan Lake.

"We already are in a flood stage, so people can't be waiting to put flood measures in place. If you haven't done so already, you need to go to www.cordemergency.ca and find out if you will need flood measures.

"People really do need to move to action now, if they haven't already."

While snow continues to melt at higher elevations, Environment Canada is also warning of high winds, rain and possible thunderstorm activity in the Okanagan today and tomorrow.

A special weather statement says a cold front is expected to sweep across the Central Interior this afternoon, reaching the Southern Interior this evening. Five to 10 millimetres of rain can be expected, along with winds gusting from 50 to 70 km/h tonight.

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