Summerland snow pack measurements still high

Readings taken on May 1 show 270 and 243 per cent of historical average

Summerland’s snow pack is still far above normal, according to the latest measurements taken by the municipality.

The May 1 measurement at Summerland Reservoir showed a snow depth of 790 millimetres or the equivalent of 305 millimetres of water. This is 270 per cent of the historical average water equivalent, measured over 55 years.

At Isintok Lake, the May 1 snow pack measurement was 970 millimetres or the equivalent of 318 millimetres of water. This is 243 per cent of the historical average at that site, measured over 54 years.

The snow pack measurements have been well above normal throughout this year and in April, both Summerland sites had measurements 159 per cent of normal.

Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer for the municipality, said municipal crews are preparing for the melting snow and runoff.

“We are ramping up our efforts,” she said. “We haven’t seen the end of our rising water.”

Thirsk Dam, one of Summerland’s reservoir lakes, began spilling on May 1. This means creeks and streams, including Trout Creek, could see higher water levels and fast-flowing water.

The reservoir lakes at higher elevations have not yet begun to spill, Tynan said said.

David Campbell, head of the B.C. River Forecast Centre, said snow at the mid-elevation level range, from 1,000 to 1,500 metres, has been melting rapidly, but at higher elevations, the snow level increased from April 1 to May 1.

“Seeing those snowpack levels rise is creating a significant flood risk for the southern half of the province,” he said.

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