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FLOOD WATCH: Okanagan band gets a break ahead of further flooding forecast

Westide water levels stabilizing, damage assessments underway in Parker Cove

Flooding has eased on the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), but provincial officials are cautious as temperatures heat up this week.

OKIB EOC Operations crews took a helicopter ride on Sunday, May 7 to monitor creeks and watersheds on reserve. The River Morphologist (a river flow specialist) noted that bearing a significant weather or erosion event occurring, that there was not a significant risk of continued debris flow.

Dredging operations to remove silt build ups will continue until completed to help alleviate the potential of freshet flows breaching the creek banks again.

“OKIB crews will continue with monitoring operations within Whiteman’s Creek as well as other creek systems on reserve,” the band said in a Monday, May 8 update. “Mitigation systems will slowly be demobilized this week such as tiger damns and gabions as freshet flows have begun to be stabilized to the creek banks.”

Crews will also be beginning rapid damage assessments this week of flood affected areas. Damage Assessments help the EOC gain a greater understanding of what impacts have occurred during flooding and can also help inform ESS supports.

“Emergency Support Services which were provided to evacuees will begin tapering off soon. Evacuees affected by the flood should contact your Insurance provider as soon as possible to start your insurance claim and get a temporary lodging solution from your insurance provider.”

Provincial officials met Monday to discuss the current flooding and wildfire situation in B.C.

Dave Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre, said a significant warning potential this weekend could spell more trouble.

“We could see another period of elevated flood risk,” Campbell said.

Currently, he says the province is about a quarter through the snowpack melt, so there is much more to come down.

Environment Canada is forecasting sun Thursday to Sunday with highs growing from 23 degrees Celsius to 32 by Mother’s Day.

While the Southern Interior is facing floods, further north there are 62 wildfires burning the Prince George district.

The annual flooding and fires that B.C. has been subject to will continue, said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests.

“Given climate change these incidents will become more frequent and more severe,” Ralston said.

READ MORE: FLOOD WATCH: Westside roads unstable on Okanagan Indian Band

READ MORE: Rising creek levels cause concern for train tracks in Vernon


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

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