Creek breach forces alert

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.

Sixty-one properties have been placed on an evacuation alert east of Keremeos due to an overnight breach in Keremeos Creek and a flood risk in the vicinity. 

The RDOS said some properties on this alert overlap an alert issued on May 9, which was issued due to concerns from the high-flowing Similkameen River. 

The new properties under alert in Area G can be seen on the map below, outlined in black.

ORIGINAL: 9:30 a.m.

A section of Keremeos Creek breached its banks overnight at the 2500 block of Highway 3, east of Keremeos, according to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

The RDOS says the situation is currently being assessed, and evacuation alerts or orders could be issued as a result. 

Police have also been made aware and could close or re-route traffic on the section of highway, between Keremeos and Cawston.

RDOS emergency operations director Paul Edmonds says the incident was likely caused by a rain event overnight, as a warning for thunderstorms is in place from Environment Canada.

Edmonds added “any dramatic change in creek flow, either accelerated flow with debris or a sudden stoppage of flow, can indicate an escalating situation upstream. It is important that residents who live on or adjacent to streams observe and report any uncharacteristic changes in flows."

The regional district also recommends the public to stay 10 meters away from flowing water — due to high water levels and ground saturation, which could make ground unstable.

Castanet will update this story with more information should it become available.

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