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Tulameen lake floods houses, evacuation alert given

Otter Lake in Tulameen, a small community near Princeton, has flooded and an evacuation alert has been given.
A house near Otter Lake that has been partially flooded.

(Click on the above photo for a slideshow)

Otter Lake in Tulameen has flooded and an evacuation alert has been given for the entire community by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Residents may be required to evacuate due to rising ground water caused by this year’s spring thaw.

All residents should be prepared to leave on very short notice if the order is given. Plans should include the removal of valuables and important documents, the RDOS said.

So far, houses close to the lake have been partially flooded.

A registration centre is available in Princeton for those who are affected. Tulameen residents will be contacted locally if the situation changes.

"[The flooding] becomes a concern because of the wells and septic fields," said Area H director Brad Hope.

"It's important that people know to boil the water and know how to take precautions health wise."

The fire chief and crew have been working around the clock, telling people they should leave if their houses are close to flooding, he said. Some people have moved to Princeton.

The river has risen this high before, but it's difficult to tell when it's going to start going down, said Hope, adding that the mountains surrounding Tulameen have quite a bit of snow on top.