May 19, 2017 9:00 pm

Flood watch puts damper on long weekend activities


The long weekend is expected to be sunny in Kelowna, but flood precautions have left some tourists disappointed.

Boat renters are being warned to use caution and watch for debris, and that they face fines if they exceed 10 km/h within 30 metres of the shore. Some other would-be renters are out of luck, like visitor Joshua Kleinsasser.

“They can’t have a wake, so you can’t rent a Sea-Doo. I mean there’s other things to do, but that was one thing we wanted to do but we’re not able to,” Kleinsasser said.

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Gyro Beach is open, but many others are closed and blocked off by flood barriers, though that isn’t stopping people from using the beaches anyway.

“We’re really asking park users not to touch them, not to be around them, not to climb them, not to jump them,” said Jodie Foster, with the Emergency Operations Centre. “They are important flood protective measures to make sure that the beaches are safe.”

Despite restrictions on typical tourist activities and a flood watch on Okanagan Lake, businesses along Bernard Avenue are optimistic about the summer season.

“I mean, the weather obviously hasn’t been the best as far as here in the Okanagan, but it’s a beautiful day today, the start of the long weekend, so things are looking up,” said Mitchell Norstrom of Okanagan Spirits.

“I think the tourists will come for the city and enjoy the city, and they’re going to realize that the streets aren’t flooded up to your knees or anything,” said Bruce Charmeski, of Bruce’s Variety Shoppe.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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