By early May, Twin Lakes resident Craig Hunter and his family had filled 2,500 sandbags to protect their property. Over $6.7 million has been spent on flood mitigation in the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen. File photo

Flooding costs continue to rise

Over $6.7 million has been spent on flood mitigation in the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen

As of day 77 (June 7) of this year’s flooding event in the Okanagan and Similkameen more than $6.7 million has been spent and the cost is expected to continue to climb.

Paul Edmonds, the emergency management program co-ordinator for the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen, said although water is receding there is still a risk. He explained the majority of the costs associated with flood mitigation will be covered by the province.

“So, the message at the moment to the public is still to be prepared, obviously we are receiving lots of calls from people who have removed sandbags to please come and remove our sandbags. We are still at risk of a rainfall event. It’s the possibility of rain, obviously, not today or the near future, but the next week or so, two weeks or three weeks,” he said in response to a question about removing sandbags.

Related: Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Once a state of local emergency is cancelled in areas, Edmonds said a designated place for sandbags to be dropped will be set up in each community. The RDOS has received approval from the province for funding to do the cleanup of sandbags and other debris at strategic community locations, not at every home.

Edmonds said communication will come out when ready.

As of Thursday, there were seven evacuation orders still active throughout the RDOS affecting 32 different properties including in Osoyoos and rural Oliver. About 157 properties continue to be on evacuation alert.

Edmonds noted extensive work had been done at Twin Lakes to save homes around the lake. The lake at last measure was 26 feet in height, about nine feet above seasonal normal.

Edmonds was not able to provide the cost of the project so far but said more work was expected. At least two pumps were brought and hundreds of tonnes of material as well as thousands of hours of contract work done by both the military and B.C. Wildfire Service.

He noted in his presentation that it’s unknown how much of the material used to raise the height of the roadway, which created a dike to hold back the water, will be left behind. As the dike was built as an emergency defence there were some construction issues that allowed water underneath, prompting the evacuation order on some homes around the lake.

The decision of how much material will stay will be made by the province’s Ministry of Forests, Land, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“FLNROD is considering that they don’t want dikes at all in the area because of the potential of breaching,” he said.

Related: Twin Lakes residents brace for massive flooding

Just Posted

Retailers feel impact of generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

50 charities receive grants within the South Okanagan-Similkameen

Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen has approved granting of over $380,000

Busy day for Penticton Search and Rescue

PENSAR was called to three separate incidents Sunday, Dec. 16

Icewine harvest begins for some Okanagan wineries

Cold temperatures prompted wineries to start their icewine harvest

Powder report: Rain in valley, snow on the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Story of the Year:: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

Winter storm warning issued for Coquihalla highway

Total snow accumulations of 40-50 cm expected by Wednesday

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

Most Read