Twin Lakes residents brace for massive flooding

Twin Lakes resident making the best of a bad situation

Craig Hunter of Twin Lakes is trying his best to look on the bright side, but not too bright, as he doesn’t want the snowpack to melt any faster.

For the last five weeks or so he and his family have been preparing for the flood anticipated with the more than 150 per cent above average snowpack heading into warmer weather.

“It’s an anticipated event. It’s a repeat of last year, times two. This winter, we had probably eight-foot of snow banks on the lakeside of the road, and knowing we had high water and the lake was higher last fall than it was in 2016, look out batman get out your snorkels,” he said while taking a break from sandbagging his property Friday.

Hunter’s is one of 64 properties around the lake that is currently on an evacuation alert.

Since early April he and his family have filled and laid about 2,500 sandbags. Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen sent pallets of filled sandbags to Twin Lakes Friday morning and Hunter placed about another 1,000 by mid-day.

There was talk of B.C. Wildfire Service coming to the area to help build a five or more foot wall of sandbags around his home.

“Six feet of water above the flood level, four more feet (than what’s here now) that’s a guesstimate. Don’t know how it will shake out … hopefully, with a five-feet plus wall, my place will be safe.”

He’s hoping the sandbag wall, which is covered with a sheet of plastic to help keep the water out, will hold and not allow water into his finished basement.

Hunter was concerned the septic lift station, which pumps effluent up to a holding tank away from the lake, would not be operational sometime in the days to come. If that happens he and his family would not be able to stay at home.

But until flooding made staying impossible, he was focussed on staying positive and working with government agencies to keep his property safe.

“It’s mother nature doing her tricks, so how are you going to get pissy and blame somebody. Life throws you lemons, you make lemonade.”

The Lower Nipit Irrigation District is pumping water from the lake, but at a much lower rate than what is coming in at this time.

Pumping was limited by the province, as water from the lake heads towards Willowbrook, Sportsmens Bowl and Park Rill.

Currently, there is a Local State of Emergency called for that area and all of Area C (Rural Oliver) along a with Area D, including Twin Lakes, and Area B (Cawston)

 

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