Water build up going into Otter Lake. Active evacuation of properties in Tulameen due to flooding of town centre. Photo courtesy RDOS

Water build up going into Otter Lake. Active evacuation of properties in Tulameen due to flooding of town centre. Photo courtesy RDOS

Water woes in South Okanagan and Similkameen

Communities dealing with emergency situations

Historically high snow levels and rain events have created a number of flooding issues across the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Tulameen (Area H)

148 properties evacuated, 157 properties under evacuation alert

In the unincorporated community of Tulameen, northwest of Princeton,148 properties were ordered to evacuate earlier today due to flooding. Otter Lake, immediately north of Tulameen, has seen a rapid increase in lake level, flooding properties. There are concerns of water moving through the community into the Tulameen River.

An Emergency Social Services (ESS) Reception Centre is set up at the Riverside Community Centre at 148 Old Hedley Road, Princeton to assist residents evacuated. Tulameen property owners who reside out of the affected area can contact the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre at 250-490-4225 for more information.

The RDOS has placed an additional 157 Tulameen properties under evacuation alert. Residents under evacuation alert area do not have to leave their homes but should be prepared to leave.

Related: Flood threat to Tulameen “very serious”

Cawston (Area B)

State of Local Emergency issued today

A declaration of State of Local Emergency was issued for Cawston. There is an increased threat of flooding and debris flows from upland creeks that may threaten life, safety and cause significant property damage. No properties have been evacuated or placed on alert at this time.

Related: Cawston under state of emergency: RDOS

Related: Cawston Dike repair underway

Park Rill Creek, north of Oliver (Area C)

Evacuation of 17 homes and evacuation alert of 147 properties

On April 16 properties along Sportsmen’s Bowl Road, north of Oliver were evacuated due to the potential of a debris flow along Park Rill Creek. High water, impounded behind several earthen dams and Secrest Hill Road, raised the likelihood of a breach of these structures. Currently, 17 homes are evacuated and a further 147 properties downstream remain on evacuation alert.

The RDOS and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have set up a series of pumps to reduce the build-up of water along Park Rill Creek. The RDOS has four high-capacity pumps moving water from Park Rill Creek into the Okanagan River. Another pump has been placed over Park Rill Road to assist water moving through local culverts. MOTI is increasing culvert capacity and pumping water all along Park Rill Creek.

Related: More pumps being installed

Willowbrook (Area C)

One property on evacuation alert

A State of Local Emergency remains in effect for communities along the Park Rill Creek watershed. The Willowbrook area, northwest of Oliver, has seen sustained flooding since late March. Several earthen dams along Kearns Creek, which flows into Park Rill Creek near Willowbrook, continue to be monitored. One property in the Willowbrook area is under evacuation alert due to limited access to the property.

Related: Pumps helping drop flooding levels rural Oliver

Green Lake (Area D)

17 properties remain under evacuation alert

The RDOS has been ordered by the province to actively pump water from Green Lake, southwest of Okanagan Falls. This kettle lake has no natural outfall. High water has allowed Green Lake to flood neighbouring vineyards. If not managed, Green Lake could create an uncontrolled water course creating debris flows into, potentially, 17 properties downhill. The RDOS is actively managing this lake.

Geotechnical Work for Private Properties — Several areas in RDOS

The RDOS continues to provide geotechnical assistance to areas that have seen stability issues due to high water tables and runoff. Several homes have been evacuated due to rock or earth slides and the RDOS has provided Emergency Social Support services as required. Currently, one home in the Green Mountian Road area west of Penticton is under an evacuation order due to slope stability issues.

For more information visit rdos.ca or on Facebook at RegionalDistrictOfOkanaganSimilkameen.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram