Ramping up flood prep

Dustin Godfrey

Low-lying areas along the southern tip of the Okanagan Lake are ramping up their efforts to mitigate floods, as forecasts show high winds, rain and more snowmelt in the coming days.

In Red Wing Resort, where the water has consumed a dock at the community beach, volunteers and staff say they have made about 2,500 sandbags - so far.

"Six truckloads of sand, dump trucks, have been brought in, so far. First, (we) started off in this area,"said volunteer and resident Greg Tellier, pointing to an area of the beach close to the community centre.

"As the water started to get a little bit higher, we started to proceed, the manager and some of the paid workers here, proceeded to sandbag down here," he added, pointing toward the southern end of the beach.

Red Wing Resort was paid a visit by FortisBC workers on Tuesday to assess the risks flooding posed to natural gas infrastructure.

"Should we get compromised, we'll have to shut the gas off, I think particularly," said Red Wing Resort manager Don Kelly. "Power could be an issue as well, but I don't anticipate that we'll be getting to that point."

In Trout Creek, Summerland's municipal boss says they're also monitoring the issue. Linda Tynan says power will need to be turned off for houses with electrical conduits in their basements if they flood.

"I don't believe we've actually turned any off, yet, but we've identified and have a plan in place, should we approach that level," said District of Summerland CAO Linda Tynan.

Summerland has received the support of the province this week, including a sandbagging machine and the use of provincial firefighters. That has been a major relief for the municipality and the local fire department.

"There's a lot of people that were getting pretty worried that we wouldn't be able to get to helping them out," Tynan said. "We feel comfortable after today that we're well-protected for the (343 metres above sea level) mark."

Still in hot demand from the province are inflatable dams, which Penticton and Kelowna have both received.

Tynan says she's expecting to see those coming to Summerland this week, while Red Wing volunteers say they've put in a request with the B.C. government.


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