Efforts in place to control flood waters

Summerland properties affected as Aeneas Creek breaches its banks

Municipal crews are preparing for further flooding along Aeneas Creek.

The creek, which runs along Garnet Avenue and Garnet Valley Road, has spilled its banks in places, resulting in local flooding on private property.

Last Tuesday, the water level in the creek dropped slightly, but the melting snow and runoff from reservoir lakes means the creek is expected to rise once again.

“We’re still putting plans in place for rising water,” said Linda Tynan, Summerland’s chief administrative officer.

Last week, a portion of Garnet Avenue was closed because of the flooding and a berm was set up to divert the flood water.

The snow pack level at Summerland’s two measurement sites is much higher than in recent years and is nearing the maximum level, said Devon van der Meulen, manager of utilities for the municipality.

“There’s still a lot of snow up there,” he said on Monday evening at a public information about the flooding.

He added that in January, municipal crews noticed the snow pack at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake was significantly greater than normal.

As a result, crews let out water from the reservoirs, to prepare for the possibility of flooding.

Maarten Stam, manager of works for the municipality, said measures have been put in place to direct the flow of water from Aeneas Creek.

Because of Summerland’s topography, a breach in certain areas of the creek could result in flooding in Summerland’s downtown area.

Tynan said the berm is holding well and is serving to divert the flood water.

Property owners along the creek have already been setting up sandbags to protect their homes and properties.

Fire chief Glenn Noble said the information is available from the municipality on how to construct a good sandbag dike.

He said last year, during the flooding at Okanagan Lake, some of the property owners had to set up sandbag dikes several times, since the initial dikes had not been built properly or had been constructed too low on the property.

“If you do it properly, you’re going to have much better results,” he said.

While the flood control efforts have affected access to some properties, Tynan said there are no evacuation orders or alerts in place at present.

“There’s limited immediate risk,” she said.

A municipal representative will visit people living along the creek.

In addition, elevation stakes are being put in place at properties along the creek.

These stakes will help property owners determine where sandbags should be placed to control the rising water.

A year ago, properties in the same area of Aeneas Creek were also affected by spring flooding.

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