Lumby officials protest flooding

The Regional District of North Okanagan board will receive a letter today from the village about high water

Lumby officials continue to be frustrated over what they see as a lack of concern over flooding.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board will receive a letter today from the village about high water related to reservoir activities on the Aberdeen Plateau.

“The village has communicated our concerns at the board level on more than one occasion and feels that our concerns are being treated with a cavalier attitude by the  board and its staff,” said Mayor Kevin Acton in the letter.

“We remind you that our residents have as much right to safely enjoy their homes and businesses as Greater Vernon residents have to ensure enough water to fill their polls or water their lawns. I would think the protection of persons, homes and businesses would rate a higher priority.”

Acton says that since the Duteau Creek water treatment plant opened three years ago, severe flooding has become more frequent.

He also says that it was common knowledge in the spring of 2013 that water storage was increasing and the snowpack for the area had remained constant.

“At this time, Greater Vernon Water could have released from the upper lakes, creating a controlled overflow at the head gates,” he said.

“This would have served two purposes: the first, to make room for the eventual rains and runoff to be contained in the higher areas, and increased flows in the lower areas so there would not be such a sever deluge later or perhaps, it would have a lesser impact on my community.”

Acton insists the Duteau plant was constructed without adequate controls to mitigate the downstream effect of the project.

“I need to be able to reassure my residents of their safety and confidence that this is being looked after.”

RDNO officials have previously stated they can’t let water out of the reservoirs early, because, depending on weather conditions in the early spring, that water may be needed for domestic supply this summer.

They also point out that snowmelt spilling over the reservoirs and into the creek is a natural process.

Patrick Nicol, RDNO chairperson, insists his board is taking Lumby’s concerns seriously.

“The mayor and council of Lumby should come to a session and get information,” he said.

“There is a lot more to it than the average person understands but it’s understandable that the people of Lumby want an answer.”