Waterfront battered

UPDATE 11:00 a.m.

The Okanagan Lake waterfront in Penticton has taken a significant blow, but crews are back at work protecting the shore as the lake continues to rise.

The City of Penticton is currently assessing damage to the shore caused by wave action during last night's storm, which took out the Kiwanis Walking Pier and large sections of beach and walkway.

“Basically we are trying to reinforce the city’s infrastructure,” said Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson.

“The walkway is incredibly valuable to our community, it's very expensive to replace, so if we have undermining of the sand or ground beneath it and it fractures, it's a tear-up and a rebuild, so we are really trying to maintain that,” he said.

Crews are also focused on the city’s pump and electrical systems, Loco Landing and the skateboard park.

“We are seeing saturation in areas of our community too, so people make sure that you are helping yourselves,” he said. “We are very busy as a city protecting our own infrastructure. 

Okanagan Lake is just five centimetres short of the historic 1948 flood mark, a point it will likely eclipse. The relentless climb of the lake level has left many within the Penticton Fire Department exhausted.

“We are working 16-18 hour shifts in some cases. We are trying to maintain some integrity to our operations so our fire crews are working overtime, our public works and city staff are working extremely long days, but we are dedicated,” he said.


ORIGINAL 8:30 a.m.

The City of Penticton is working to assess significant damage to the Okanagan Lake waterfront caused by last night's storm.

Large sections of beach have been washed away and debris has been deposited along the shore. The Kiwanis Walking Pier has also been taken out of commission.

Check the gallery above for photos of the damage. Castanet will update this story throughout the day.



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