May 2, 2014 5:58 pm

Flood prep assisted by fire crews

BC Wildfire crews assist with sandbag creation in Lumby to help the community prepare for flooding.

Doris Maria Bregolisse/ Global Okanagan

LUMBY, B.C. – A North Okanagan town is being proactive ahead of forecast heavy rain and employing crews to fill sandbags.

“We’re filling some sandbags for the town of Lumby just in preparation, in case of flooding,” says Evan Lloyd, crew leader for the Vernon unit of the BC Wildfire Branch.

Lloyd has about a dozen personnel from Vernon and Salmon Arm filling sandbags near Lumby City Hall.

Wildfire crews help with flood duty on an annual basis, depending on need.

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“It’s a common task for us,” says Lloyd.

“Yesterday, just at this location, we managed to fill 4,000 sandbags,” he says. “In total, the crews were spread around town more yesterday and we managed to fill over 6,000 and today we’re hoping to get up to that number with this site here (near City Hall).”

Sandbags are free to residents who are protecting their homes from flood risk, which could peak sometime in the next six weeks.

“Many local residents have been coming by to help themselves to the sandbags which we fully encourage,” says Lloyd. “The City is also stockpiling some, depending on the need for the next few days.”

Pallets of sandbags are also being delivered to residents who live beside Duteau Creek.

The forecast is calling for thunderstorms Friday evening, with considerably cooler daytime temperatures and rain over the next three days.

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