Yacht club preps for water

The Penticton Yacht Club is preparing for some extra water this weekend, as high weekend temperatures are expected to cause more snowmelt to flow into the Okanagan Lake.

The lake continues to rise, with Environment Canada pegging Thursday's lake levels peaking over its height from late last week, and that's expected to continue rising. As the sun comes out in full force this weekend, and temperatures reach above 25 degrees, snowmelt from the mountains is expect to contribute more water to the overflowing lake.

And currently that overflow is being seen in the South Okanagan, including at the Penticton Yacht Club, where fleet captain Bruce Merit says the building, which floats on a hydraulic on the water, is seeing cracking due to the rising lake.

Currently, sandbags sit along a low point in the grounds and around the building itself, but that hasn't stopped flooding in parking lots, which, early on Thursday, had water half-surrounding the building according to Merit.

To combat that, the club has a pump near the low point, which shoots the water to the other side of the sandbags. But that still opens the grounds up to water leaking back in, which means the pump needs to be fired up every so often.

"We've asked the city for those big, large bladders that Kelowna has," Merit said, referring to water-filled barricades put up around Kelowna to protect low-lying properties from flooding.

On top of a rising lake, junk that has flowed into the lake from high-volume creeks and rivers should have boaters cautious about going out this weekend, of all weekends. May long weekend is considered to be the kickoff weekend for boating season.

"That's just dangerous," Merit said of the debris that litters the lake. "We've already put high water advisories and that kind of stuff, but we haven't officially said anything to our members yet, regarding don't go out."

But Merit says most members of the club are "savvy" and are likely aware of the debris on the lake.

"They all have their safe boat operator's permits and what have you, so it's, on the water it's safety first," he said.


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