Penticton Fire Department crews work to fill sandbags by the dozen at Station 202, where deputy fire chief Chris Forster said the efforts have amounted to about 12,000 sandbags being stockpiled. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Over 115,000 sandbags delivered to Okanagan-Similkameen

On top of that, more than 800 tonnes of non-bagged sand has been delivered to RDOS communities

The cavalry has come to join the fight against flooding in the South Okanagan.

Penticton Fire Department deputy chief Chris Forster said B.C. Wildfire Service crews joined the flood mitigation efforts over the weekend, as the water continues to rise in the South Okanagan.

For the most part, that effort has been with filling sandbags, as Penticton Fire has managed to build up a stockpile of about 12,000 sandbags at Station 202.

Related: Evacuation alert near Green Lake

“They came in and helped us on the weekend, there, put together a lot of those sandbags,” he said. “Pretty much most of those were done over the weekend. We’d had about 2,000 prior to the weekend, and then we did about 10,000 on the weekend. So we can fill them pretty quick if need be.”

That stockpile is largely in preparation for the city of Penticton, to protect local infrastructure and residents, where Forster said the efforts during last year’s flooding were more reactive.

But the sandbags are available to anybody in need — Forster pointed to Willowbrook, where the sandbagging efforts were compromised over the weekend, and the community’s fire hall was “imminently” under threat of flooding.

Related: South Okanagan residents battle flooding

Click on the picture for an interactive map with all of the places where sand (orange) or sandbags (purple) have been dropped off in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen this spring.
Image courtesy Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
Click on the picture for an interactive map with all of the places where sand (orange) or sandbags (purple) have been dropped off in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen this spring.

Image courtesy Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

The 12,000 sandbags Penticton Fire has accumulated is just a drop in the bucket — or a grain in the sandbag — as the RDOS reports having delivered 806 tonnes of sand and 115,200 sandbags, including in municipalities, this year so far.

And in the city of Penticton alone, last year, there were over 200,000 sandbags laid.

While Penticton Fire is accumulating sandbags, Cameron Baughen with RDOS emergency operations said the regional district is dropping off sand and sandbags where they are needed.

Related: South Okanagan continues flood fight as water moves downhill

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has been getting sandbagging supplies from the provincial government and leaving sand, bags and shovels in a number of regions affected by flooding.

That includes the Willowbrook community west of Oliver, the Sportsmens Bowl Road area just north of Oliver and the Green Lake area just west of Okanagan Falls, where flooding has so far hit hardest.

“When it’s identified through our emergency operations centre, we then provide the sand and sandbags directly to that community,” Baughen said.

“More rural areas might want to get those, then contact us and we can look and see. If there’s no immediate concern there, if they just want it for no reason that we can identify, it may not be something that we do. But once there’s an identifiable risk, and that might just be the culverts or something that’s pretty minor, we can then provide that sand.”

More information about flood mitigation and an interactive map of all of the sandbagging sites can be found on the RDOS website.

Related: Willowbrook community rallies in state of local emergency

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

BC Wildfire merges Mt. Eneas and Munro Lake fires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Contest: Got a cute pet? Send us a photo

Email us photos of your pets in the South Okanagan-Similkameen

ZONE 2: Summerland twins bring ultimate competition to the BC Summer Games

Brothers Connor and Holden Berrisford are each other’s main motivators

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Most Read