Temporary canal dam being built to protect properties from Okanagan Lake flooding
It’s a welcome development for residents of about three dozen water-logged properties along a canal at Green Bay in West Kelowna.
“Well I think it’s about time something is done around here. It’s hopefully not too late,” said homeowner Kimberly Dommasch.
The city started construction Thursday on a temporary dam across the canal, which connects to Okanagan Lake, to separate the threatened properties from the lake.
“There’s10 to12 inches before it hits the top of our sandbags,” said homeowner Darren Baker. “So wind gusts, swells and even boating activity will funnel waves down the channel and we’re going to be in a panic situation.”
After the dam is completed, a huge pump will be used to drain some of the canal water back into the lake.
“The overall objective is to keep the residents in their homes and avoid an evacuation,” said West Kelowna spokesperson Stacey Harding.
It’s uncertain how long it will take to lower the canal but it can’t happen too quickly for the affected property owners.
“Just take it one day at a time I guess and see what the outcome is going to be,” said resident Eva Stacey.