Similkameen residents urged to prepare for possible flooding

Snow pack levels and warm temperatures pose threat

Similkameen Valley residents are being warned to brace themselves for possible flooding.

A bulletin issued early this month by the BC River Forecast Centre states that the snow pack in the Similkameen is at 144 per cent of normal.

“There is a concern about potential flooding, linked with the warmer weather that we are experiencing,” said Paul Edmonds, emergency management program coordinator for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

“We are encouraging people to be prepared. There is real risk right now depending on the weather.”

Wednesday the RDOS is hosting a media luncheon in Penticton where kits including flood preparedness information will be issued.

“It’s really for people to take action themselves, make sure they are aware of what’s going on around them and reach out to family and neighbours. [Especially] if they flooded last year, they should be taking steps to prepare.”

Residents in flood prone areas should have emergency kits packed, and vital documents secured in case they need to evacuate.

Edmonds said the weather forecast is for more warm weather and possibly rain later in the week, which will heighten danger.

He said groundwater levels are also extremely high.

“At the moment it hasn’t gone away.” He added the RDOS has received calls “of water flows coming out of the hillside.”

Residents who want to take proactive measures to protect their property should visit http://www.frontcounterbc.gov.bc.ca/ if they plan to work within 30 metres of a water course.

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