The RDOS is advising residents that high snowpack and rain may trigger flooding this spring.(Black Press files)

The RDOS is advising residents that high snowpack and rain may trigger flooding this spring. (Black Press files)

Prepare for possibilities of spring flooding in Okanagan, RDOS warns

High snowpack and rain may cause flooding in areas of the South Okanagan - Similkameen

  • Feb. 15, 2020 1:30 p.m.

Residents in the Okanagan Similkameen region are being urged to start preparing for the possibility of flooding this spring.

The snowpack across the Okanagan is 29 per cent higher than the average for this time of year, and the ensuing levels of meltwater could be driven higher by rain, the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen said in a warning issued Saturday.

District staff have already increased the flow of water out from Okanagan Lake in anticipation of the spring snowmelt.

In B.C., property owners are responsible for protecting their own property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on larger-scale response measures.

READ MORE: Okanagan faces increased temperatures, flooding: climate projections report

Residents are being urged to locate potential sources of flooding and act early to prepare sandbags. It is also advised to work together with neighbours and re-direct flowing water rather than attempt to block it outright.

Those with pumps or other active methods of handling water should be aware that in the event of a flood power may be knocked out or disconnected, and a personal generator will be needed.

The district doesn’t deliver sand or sandbags to private residences or businesses, but does setup locations where sandbags can be filled, as listed on the district website.

Residents can sign up to receive text alerts from the district here.

Emergency management staff will be at the 2020 Penticton Home and Reno Show March 7-8 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Volunteers with Emergency Support Services and Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team will also be present.

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