JOHN ARENDT DAMAGED DOCK The dock behind Conrad and Margaret Teske’s home has been destroyed as a result of rising flood water.

Summerland house threatened by rising waters

Friends, neighbours and community members have helped to create a larger dike at the property

The back yard of Conrad and Margaret Teske’s home on Nixon Road shows the damages from this spring’s flooding conditions on Okanagan Lake.

Two sandbag dikes are in place, one at the water’s edge and one closer to the house.

Pumps are running and the back yard is now swampy and muddy. The dock has been destroyed.

The house, however, has fared well during the flooding.

The Teskes have had water in their crawl space and in one back room, but the house has not had problems from the flooding.

“We haven’t had any real damage to the cabin,” Conrad Teske said.

In May, the Teskes set up 240 sandbags, but this dike was not enough to protect the property from a storm.

Later, they talked with Ken Sewell of Summerland Builders Mart, who told them to build a sandbag wall close to their home.

Sewell delivered the sand and the sandbags for this project.

Volunteers, including Craig Bloom of Nailed It Projects and his crew, have helped to create a larger dike at the property. This dike was made using thousands of sandbags.

At present, there are two dikes in place. The first, at the edge of the property, is intended as a breakwater. The second is to keep water from entering the house.

Conrad Teske wishes the province had taken earlier measures to control the water level in Okanagan Lake.

He said if the lake level had been lowered earlier, the damage to his property and other lakefront properties could have been minimized or avoided.

“This is a manmade catastrophe,” he said. “This is billions of dollars of damages.”

Margaret Teske also wonders why the lake was not lowered.

“When you’ve got water this high in December, you know there are going to be problems,” she said.

The Teske home is lower than the properties on either side, and as a result, they have been concerned with the rising lake levels.

This year, before the snow melt began, the water level was higher and the expanse of beach was smaller than in previous years, they said.

Margaret Teske said volunteers from the community have helped to protect the home.

“I just can’t express our appreciation,” she said. “The volunteers are the silver lining in all this. They’ve just reinforced my vision of what humanity can do.”