Rising water still flows

All eyes continue to be focused on rising water levels.

Wood, Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes are breaking historic records for capacity and that has communities not easing up on emergency preparedness.

“The (Kal) lake level is still edging upwards,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream mayor.

“It’s not going down any time fast.”

On Thursday, Kal Lake was reported to be at 6.31 metres.

Similar concerns also exist on Okanagan Lake, which was at 2.938 metres Thursday.

“Until the lake stops rising, residents still have to be vigilant and protect their property,” said Akbal Mund, Vernon mayor.

“I have no idea of when this will stop and I don’t think anyone else does.”

On Wednesday, the Okanagan Indian Band issued another evacuation order to areas along Okanagan Lake. This one covers Jack Road-beachfront lots 19 to 31.

The band is also urging special precautions because private beaches are potentially contaminated with sewage, water runoff, chemicals, and waste from waterfowl, domestic and wild animals.

Garlick says municipalities are doing what they can to help but their role is to protect infrastructure, not private property.

“I don’t blame people for looking for answers. It’s your home,” he said of the frustration.

Vernon has prepared more than 100,000 sandbags for distribution to residents.

“It’s discouraging to know so many residents are dealing with water in their homes,” said Mund.

Spallumcheen closed its emergency operations centre Wednesday after it was opened in early May due to flooding.

“We have submitted our recovery plan to move into the next steps of the recovery process,” said Cindy Graves, deputy corporate officer.