Volunteers work to fill sandbags earlier this week as the water level in Kearns Creek was rising. File photo

Volunteers work to fill sandbags earlier this week as the water level in Kearns Creek was rising. File photo

Situation improving in Willowbrook

Creek stabilizing, but local state of emergency remains in effect

Since yesterday, the level of water flowing through Kearns Creek in the Willowbrook area north of Oliver has stabilized.

Related: Kearns Creek dam near Willowbrook reaches capacity

The upstream Kearns Creek Dam has been lowered significantly overnight, which has reduced concerns in the area, but the local state of emergency remains in effect and volunteers continue working to protect homes, structures and property in the area.

Related: Willowbrook community rallies in state of local emergency

The Emergency Operations Centre remains open. Call 250-490-4225 for inquiries.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, under the direction of the Interior Health Authority, is beginning temporary chlorination of the Willowbrook water system. The boil water notice remains in effect until further notice.

The groundwater level has risen over the past couple of days due to surface water flooding. This rise in the aquifer level may increase the risk of contamination of the groundwater from surface water.

Rising groundwater is a concern for the entire RDOS. Residents should check basements for water and prepare their property for any potential runoff. Sand and sandbags are available across the South Okanagan for homeowners.

In Willowbrook sand and sandbags have been delivered to the Willowbrook Fire Hall, 3395 Willowbrook Rd., and also to the corner of Myers and Johnson roads.

The RDOS has also created an online map to sand and sandbag locations at https://goo.gl/c8uQSc. Click on markers on the map for location details.

For more information, visit www.rdos.bc.ca or, on Facebook, go to RegionalDistrictOfOkanaganSimilkameen.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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