Water came like a 'river'

Alanna Kelly

Over a dozen Lake Country residents have been flooded with muddy water Thursday afternoon after a water main broke, sending a rush of water towards their neighbourhood.

District of Lake Country officials are blaming the water main break on the “construction activity" that's taking place at Glenmore Road and Okanagan Centre Road.

“As to exactly how that has occurred, we are still unclear of that right now,” said public works manager Matthew Salmon.

Resident Mandy Little came home to find water rapidly flowing towards her house on Mountview Road.

“It was like a waterfall coming down everyone's yards,” said Little. “Within half an hour it happened.”

Almost two feet of water flooded her basement and garage.

“It was insane, so insane,” said Little. "So much water." 

Crews are still on scene investigating the cause and trying to repair the water main break.

“The priority is to get the water main repaired and get that water service restored to the homeowners as soon as possible,” said Salmon.

A massive amount of ground gave way and slumped onto of the Voyager RV parking lot, trapping two vehicles. Workers tell Castanet there was a rush of water over the embankment and then everyone started shouting and running.

“My boss came running out and he was like ‘grab your keys, run, you need to move your vehicle, the mountain is coming down,’” recalls Debrah Bruneau. “It was a panic.”

Bruneau’s vehicle is trapped under the debris and another vehicle is completely covered with only the roof barely showing.

Salmon said crews have assessed the ground in the area and they're "fairly confident" the conditions are stable right now.

Several hundred homeowners are under a boil water notice and should contact their own insurance provider for advice on each individual situation.

“We are hoping to have the water service restored tonight,” said Salmon. “Crews are on scene right now working as hard as they can to make that happen.”

Residents are questioning what caused the water main break and some have been left irritated.

"The construction company said the city didn't turn off the water when they needed them to," said Little. "They are putting blame on each other right now."

Kelowna traffic is being rerouted down John Hindle Drive and motorists are being asked to avoid Glenmore Road and the temporary detour through the Mountview Road area.

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