EDITORIAL: Preparing for flooding

A mudslide in Garnett Valley on Friday is cause for concern

The news of a serious mudslide in the Garnett Valley area last week seems eerily familiar.

Almost a year ago, in early May, a creek in Garnett Valley flooded its banks, leaving some orchards and fields under water.

The mudslide on Friday occurred in a different part of Garnett Valley and the details are not the same as last year’s flooding.

However, both incidents resulted in significant damage in the area.

In addition to the flooding in Garnett Valley last year, lakefront properties throughout the Okanagan Valley were affected as the lake level rose in spring.

The damage to lakeshore properties and parks was significant and the repairs have not yet been completed.

After an unusual winter and plenty of snow, there has already been some speculation as to whether the community and the region could face additional flooding this year.

Other areas in the South Okanagan are already dealing with flooding this spring.

Coping with one year of significant flood events has put a strain on the community. A second consecutive year would have huge consequences.

While Disaster Financial Assistance funding is available for repairs to public property, this funding only covers up to 80 per cent of the costs. The municipality must pay the rest.

The details surrounding the mudslide on Friday are not yet known, and it is too early to make accurate predictions about whether this community will experience flood events similar to last year’s flooding.

Still, the extent of the flood damage last year, along with the mudslide in Garnett Valley on Friday, should be cause for concern.

This is the time to prepare for the possibility of another flood season and to be ready for a worst-case scenario.

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