Friday flood update in South Okanagan-Similkameen

Willowbrook still under state of local emergency, sandbags available at a number of locations

  • Apr. 6, 2018 5:40 p.m.

Headed into the weekend the community of Willowbrook, near Oliver is still under a State of Local Emergency because of flooding and high water, a release from the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen stated Friday afternoon.

RELATED: Willowbrook community rallies in state of local emergency

Several initiatives are underway to reduce impact of high water in the area but residents are reminded to be prepared and have a 72-hour bag with all necessities ready to go in the home and car.

Dam level reduction via Prather Lake

Earlier this week, the Province ordered a private dam owner above St. Andrews Golf course to lower volumes in the dam. The draw down will increase water volumes into Prather Lake (in St. Andrews), and downstream into Kearns Creek. A slower release will allow water to flow in a controlled manner. This reduces the risk of uncontrolled flows later during spring rains and snow melt. The RDOS is talking with owners of the dam, St. Andrews Golf Course, Provincial agencies and professionals as these actions take place.

Kearns Creek dam

Kearns Creek runs downstream to the community of Willowbrook. An earthen dam on Kearns Creek above Willowbrook was near capacity after the March 22 rain event and is continuing to be managed to maintain its stability. The risk to this dam has been reduced significantly with pumping already undertaken.

The role of the RDOS is to liaise with all agencies responsible for implementing the controlled movement of water through Willowbrook, and ensure the personal safety of residents. Moving water through the system in a controlled way now will help prevent uncontrolled or emergency pumping later this spring after expected spring rains and snow melt.

RELATED: Situation improving in Willowbrook

Protecting and armouring homes and property

The RDOS has provided locations for sand and sand bags for property owners across the South Okanagan and Similkameen. These are for property owners to set up preventative defenses from water moving onto their property. Property owners should monitor their basements, move all valuables off the floor and prepare for higher water levels as upland snow continues to melt.

Up to date map link to sand and sand bag locations. Click on markers on the map for location details.

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