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FLOOD WATCH: Westside roads unstable on Okanagan Indian Band

Maw Main bridge washed out, OKIB asking people not to litter at sandbag stations

Flood waters washing out and undermining area roads has led to a warning to residents on the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB).

The bridge on Maw Main FSR is washed out and other backcountry roads are unstable.

“Please note that Forestry Service Roads and OKIB roads may be unstable or impassable due to slides or washouts,” the band said in a May 7 update. “Backcountry road users are advised that the roads closed in October 2021 across the Thompson Okanagan region, following 15 severe wildfires, remain closed. Travel in the north Westside backcountry is not recommended.”

OKIB is also reminding people that, “dumping garbage at the sandbagging site or anywhere on reserve lands and in the backcountry is both rude and illegal.”

OKIB Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to monitor Whiteman Creek and other creeks on the Westside during the 2023 freshet flooding event.

Currently 55 total households and 110 evacuees have registered with Emergency Support Services.

Creek flows reduced substantially Sunday; however, there is still 39 cm of snowpack in the watershed that will come down.

OKIB Emergency Management crews flew over the watershed Sunday to visually assess the situation.

“It is hoped that lower overnight temperatures will continue to slow the rate of water coming down the mountain and spread the effects over a longer period of time. Five other creeks on the Westside are being monitored as well.”

Crews continue to remove silt and debris near Whiteman Creek bridge. The creek fills up with silt which accumulates and raises the bottom of the riverbed, effectively pushing the water out of the creek causing flooding.

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

READ MORE: Flood watch: Lumby residents urged to exercise caution


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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