Yacht club 'dodges a bullet'

The Penticton Yacht Club came out of Thursday afternoon's wind storm unscathed, but work to prevent flooding at the location is ongoing.

Fleet Captain Bruce Merit said they got lucky that the wind came from the south, sparing them of the brunt of the storm which battered Peachland and Naramata.

"Yesterday we dodged a bullet," he said. "But once we get a big north wind that will tell the story."

According to Merit, members have been on flood watch since May 15, due to the rising water level in Okanagan Lake.

He typically gets to the club at 5 a.m. to take lake measurements, which have stayed more or less level all week.

Sandbagging has been ongoing and they now have three new pumps in place.

The City of Penticton also installed 25 locking concrete blocks on Monday, which have been a big help.

The whole community, including students from Princess Margaret Secondary School and the fire department have also pitched in to help.

"It has been a little tiring but most of our plans are working," said Merit. "And we have had lots of great help. It's not just a little group, the community has really stepped up."

They have also changed the position of several of their boats to give them more shelter.

"We are doing what we can within the confines of the breakwater to maximize coming out of this alive," Merit said.

In addition to being on flood and storm watch, Merit said there are concerns about the tourist season, with it potentially taking some time for the lake to go down after it peaks.

"It has been a long haul," Merit said. "But we are thinking positive here and staying hopeful."

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