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Sandbags available as Salmon River on Flood Watch, rain in forecast for North Okanagan-Shuswap

Rain in the forecast for the weekend, Salmon Arm, Sicamous on High Streamflow Advisory
A truck passes over the old Salmon River Bridge in Salmon Arm on Wednesday afternoon, May 3. The river is included the BC River Forecast Centre’s Flood Watch for the Southern Interior. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

With the Salmon River under a Flood Watch and rain in the forecast, sand and sandbags have been made available for residents in Salmon Arm, Silver Creek and Falkland.

Earlier this week, the BC River Forecast Centre put the Salmon River, including areas around Falkland, Silver Creek and Salmon Arm, on Flood Watch status. To help residents prepare, sand and sandbags are now available at the Silver Creek and Falkland firehalls. Also, sandbags are available outside Salmon Arm’s public works yard at 100 30th Street SE, and sand further along 30th Street in the lot adjacent to the Little Mountain Sports fields at 420 30th Street SE.

Rainstorms are in the forecast for Friday night, May 5, and over the weekend; however, meteorologists are now predicting the amount of precipitation to be reduced from previous forecasts, said the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) in a May 5 media release.

“As rainfall amounts can be difficult to predict, especially in localized areas, the Shuswap Emergency Program will keep an Emergency Operations Centre activated… over the weekend. This is in case of any emerging flooding concerns,” reads the media release.

In addition to the Flood Watch for the Salmon River, a High Streamflow Advisory was issued on May 5 for the Shuswap region, including Salmon Arm, Sicamous and surrounding areas. The advisory means river levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but that no major flooding is expected, while minor flooding in low-lying areas could occur.

On Thursday, May 4, CSRD protective services team leader Derek Sutherland said the regional district’s Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to Level 1.

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“There’s no actual flooding going on right now in the CSRD, but the Salmon River is on Flood Watch and they’re potentially forecasting some rain… We’re geared up and ready to respond to any flooding that happens this weekend or throughout the spring,” said Sutherland.

Information on the availability of sand/sandbags can be found at, while information on flooding and evacuation preparedness is available from Prepared B.C.

With water levels rising, it is important to stay safe near fast-running water or flooded areas, advised the CSRD.

“Please remember to stay well back from creek banks and use common sense around high water. Ensure children and pets are always supervised.”

If you have questions or concerns regarding flooding preparations, call 1-250-248-2773.
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