It’s being called “the perfect storm” and it could lead to thousands of people being evacuated in Kelowna later this week.
The triple-whammy of above normal snow pack levels and already saturated ground in the mountains, warming temperatures and forecasted heavy rainfall could combine to create a once-in-200 year flood event in the city.
“We are planning for the worst and hoping for he best,” says Emergency Operations Centre director Brian Reardon. “Citizens should be doing the same. Last week’s flooding may prove to be just a dress rehearsal for a much larger event ”
He says upwards of 2,500 Kelowna residents could have to leave their homes.
Reardon advises people living in low-lying areas near water courses to start sandbagging now and to prepare a grab-bag of essential items should they be evacuated for an extended period.
About 100 forests ministry personnel will be in the city later Wednesday to help with sandbagging.
“Today is a call to action,” says Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “This is a serious issue heading our way we need to be prepared.”
City crews are heightening the dikes along some stretches of Mission Creek.
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“We are going to have to do our best to protect property, city infrastructure and residents, says Basran. “We will get through this as a community.”
Water levels in already swollen creeks are expected to start peaking Thursday evening or Friday morning.
Anyone noticing a potential flooding problem should call the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8801.
In Kelowna, sandbags are available at the Enterprise Way fire hall.
Sand is available at:
· Cook Road Boat Launch outside the Hotel Eldorado on Cook Road,
· Burne Avenue, west of Ethel Street at Mill Creek
· Rowcliffe Avenue at Richter Street
· 221 Adams Road (Industrial Park)
In West Kelowna, sandbags and sand are available at:
· 1341 Green Bay Road
· 2606 Casa Loma
· Pritchard Park at 1587 Pritchard Drive
· 4081 Hitchner Road
· Pebbles Beach Park at 2589 Whitworth Road
For Lake Country residents, sandbags are available at Swalwell Park and at Lake Country Okanagan Centre Fire Hall (10591 Okanagan Centre Road East)
Sand is available at:
· Swalwell Park at 9950 Bottom Wood Lake Road
· Commonwealth Road by Holiday Park
· Deldor Road