The Okanagan Indian Band has issued an evacuation order and further evacuation alerts due to the high level of Okanagan Lake.
On Saturday, the band issued an evacuation order for residents and visitors of Jack Road – Beachfront lots 1-5, and all lots below the high road of Louis Estates Road.
As an evacuation order was issued, residents must leave the area immediately and register with emergency social services by calling 1-250-307-1956 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; close all windows and doors; shut off gas and electrical appliances other than refrigerators and freezers; gather family or take a neighbour or someone who needs help.
Residents are asked to take critical items such as medicine, purse, wallet and keys if they are available. Take pets in pet kennels or on a leash.
Propane tanks should be secured so they won’t float away; the valves must be tightened so the tanks won’t leak. If possible, it is advised to move the tanks from the flood-prone area.
Do not use more vehicles than you have to, and do not use telephones unless you need emergency service.
Follow the directions of emergency personnel and obey traffic control. Travel will be one-way only out of the area to allow emergency vehicles access. Re-admission is not permitted until the order is lifted.
Please check the OKIB website at www.okib.ca for more information.
Also on Saturday, evacuation alerts were issued for residents and visitors on properties along Okanagan Indian Band Reserve #1, Westside Road waterfront properties to Reserve #6, Priest Valley. An alert was also issued to residents adjacent to Vernon Creek, which is the strip of land on Lakeshore Road near Kin Beach.
The band was busy putting in a gabion wall on Lakeshore Road Friday to help deal with the rising water levels (see more below).
The issuing of an alert means residents and visitors should be prepared for immediate evacuation. That means getting personal items, family members and pets ready in case an evacuation order is issued.
“Every attempt will be made to provide as much advanced notice as possible should evacuation be required,” states the band on its website. “Changing weather conditions, however, may result in little or no notice. Be prepared.”
FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT
Emergency Management B.C. conducted a flood risk assessment on Lakeshore Road in Vernon Friday.
Results from the assessment, according to a release on the OKIB website, deemed protection measures of infrastructure are required.
“The mitigation efforts in placement of a gabion wall for the specific flooded area addresses the integrity and vulnerability of Lakeshore Road as the Vernon Creek back flow created wave action that may cause an increased level of erosion to said roadway,” stated the band.
The OKIB and its emergency operation centre thanked the continued efforts of all crews deployed by the province to assist with sandbagging efforts, gabion wall placement was well as other flood-fighting duties.
As of Saturday afternoon, the OKIB said the current level of Okanagan Lake is 343.22 metres, with the lake increasing 2.5 centimetres overnight.
The expected peak level of the lake is 343.25 metres.