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Fresh supplies for sandbag brigades as Okanagan Lake rises ever higher

Hundreds of thousands of sandbags are  in place throughout the central Okanagan. .
Hundreds of thousands of sandbags are in place throughout the central Okanagan. . Blaine Gaffney/Global News

A further 250,000 sandbags will be available around Kelowna Tuesday as the city braces for higher levels of Okanagan Lake before flooding subsides.

The Central Okanagan Regional District says the level of the lake could creep to 343.5 metres over the next two weeks.

That’s 50 centimetres higher than the record high water mark first predicted.

Hot weather over the next two days is expected to quicken the melt of still substantial snowpacks while rain is forecast for the end of the
week.

That makes it difficult for officials to estimate when or how much further the lake will rise.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says new maps showing the amount of flood damage in downtown Kelowna if Okanagan Lake peaks at 343.5-metres are “scary”.

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That will also exacerbate ground water flooding in areas with high water tables

In Peachland, the owners of Todd’s RV and Camping say it’s the worst lake flooding they’ve seen in 61 years of running the operation.

Graham Todd says half of their 80 campsites are underwater and bookings have dropped.

He doubts visitor numbers this year will reach the usual 11,000.

-With Files from The Canadian Press-