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More creeks rising on Westside as rain heightens flood risk

The OKIB is hoping to complete log jam removal at Whiteman’s Creek bridge before heavy rainfall arrives
The Okanagan Indian Band is hoping to clear debris from the Whiteman’s Creek bridge before heavy rainfall arrives over the next 72 hours, the band said Saturday morning, May 6, 2023. (OKIB photo)

More creeks are rising on the Westside as the risk of flooding worsens on a rainy Saturday.

The Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) emergency operations centre issued an update Saturday, May 6, saying the band continues to monitor Whiteman’s Creek and other creeks on the Westside during this spring’s freshet flooding.

The OKIB says for the safety of volunteers and crews, volunteer help is not required at this time.

People within and outside the community have been tirelessly filling sandbags since the waters of Whiteman’s Creek at Parker Cove first jumped its banks, and the band says no more sandbagging is needed.

“We appreciate the offers of help; however, the situation is developing, and we currently have more than enough assistance. No additional sandbagging is required.”

Aside from Whiteman’s Creek, five other creeks are rising and resources may be needed at those locations, the band says. With over 100,000 sandbags filled and deployed, more sandbags are not needed.

Emergency management staff are diverting resources away from the Whiteman’s Creek flood and preparing for rising creek levels at the five other locations on the Westside. With 20,000 sandbags in reserve, staff have plenty of resources.

The RCMP will be patrolling the evacuation area to ensure people are adhering to the evacuation order. On Friday, Parker Cove residents at 708 and 131-13 Falcon Avenue were placed under an evacuation order.

The OKIB emergency support services continue to offer services to evacuated residents at No. 8 Bonneau Road at the New Horizons building. Currently, 55 households and 100 evacuees have registered with emergency support services.

On the operational front, the OKIB delivered 279 dump truck loads of sand to the Whiteman’s Creek sandbagging station since Monday. Today, crews continue to action log jams along Whiteman’s Creek above the bridge and dredge the creek to help restore flows to the creek bed, making use of six machines plus three additional machines from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which are on-site 24/7.

Ministry of Transportation crews continue to work to keep debris jams free of Whiteman’s Creek bridge.

The OKIB is hoping to complete log jam debris removal and mitigation efforts before potential heavy rainfall within the next 72 hours.

READ MORE: Evacuation expanded to more homes on Westside as flooding continues

READ MORE: ‘Significant’ flooding could be in store for large parts of B.C., says expert

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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