Time to go home...for some

The Okanagan Indian Band has lifted a number of evacuation orders that were put in place weeks ago due to flooding however not everyone can go home yet.

The residential land at the north end of Okanagan Lake was one of the hardest hit flood areas in the Okanagan Valley.

Approximately 200 residences, both permanent and seasonal, were evacuated as floodwater covered neighbourhoods and leached into homes. Up to 400 residences are reported to have been damaged by flooding.

On Saturday, the OKIB rescinded two evacuation orders and partially rescinded five other orders, leaving some residents out of their homes for longer.

Meanwhile, the OKIB is holding a townhall meeting Tuesday at Head of the Lake Hall, 118 Head of the Lake Road, 6-7:30 p.m.

The agenda includes state of emergency orders, rescind of orders, rapid damage assessment, disaster financial assistance and flood damage debris and sandbag removal.

As well, a group called Samaritan’s Purse Canada is sending one of its specially-equipped disaster relief units to band land in response to the flooding.

“Our field teams have been assessing the situation to gather information about the damage, and we are in contact with churches, municipal officials, and other non-government partners in the area to provide a coordinated response,” said Tammy Suitor, with Samaritan’s Purse.

The Christian relief and development organization's staff will meet with local homeowners and recruit and train volunteers.

The units are tractor trailers outfitted with essential disaster recovery equipment including generators, pumps, hand tools and safety gear for volunteers. They also serve as volunteer coordination centers, and are equipped with a self-contained office, communications system and other supplies.

“We are thankful that Samaritan’s Purse has offered to help us recover from this flooding,” said Colleen Marchand, the OKIB's Emergency Operations Centre director. “This is a difficult situation for many of our residents and having an organization here, with a lot of experience in disaster relief, will make a positive difference.”

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