Residents are reminded to remain cautious near creeks and waterways in the North Okanagan, as spring freshet and periodic rain continue across the region.
The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for the Okanagan, including tributaries east of Vernon, as of 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, June 28. Shortly afterwards, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the North Okanagan, including Vernon.
The forecast for Vernon is calling for approximately 5 to 10 millimetres of rain today, with a chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms carrying into Wednesday.
City crews continue to monitor all three local creeks (Upper BX, Lower BX and Vernon Creek) and the weather system in this region. Crews report the water level on Upper BX creek has started to drop over the last week. The outflow from Kalamalka Lake into Vernon Creek has increased slightly in the last couple of weeks, however, capacity remains available.
Sudden or prolonged rain events can increase water flow and water levels quickly, and potentially unexpectedly, so everyone is encouraged to stay away from creekbanks and to be aware of possible hazards.
The city encourages all property owners adjacent to creeks and streams to consider whether they are prepared for rising water levels and what steps they may need to take to mitigate risk and protect their property. Property owners are responsible for protecting private property. If you are looking for resources for preparedness information, you can visit the PreparedBC portion of the province’s website.
If residents are concerned about potential flood risks on their property, they can access sand and sandbags at the City of Vernon operations building, located at 1900-48th Ave. The sand pile and sandbags are located outside the east entrance of the operations yard, on Pleasant Valley Road. Residents are reminded to bring their own shovels to fill sandbags.
For the most up-to-date information on flood and freshet conditions and advisories, visit the B.C. River Forecast Centre web page at gov.bc.ca.