An independent report has deemed there was nothing more the provincial government could have done to minimize the devastating impact of 2017’s historic flooding season.
Properties were damaged and hundreds of residents were displaced from numerous communities in the BC interior.
“They couldn’t have predicted the high inflows that occurred in the spring, in May we saw the highest inflow ever on record to Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake and that was not predicted, it could not be predicted,” Brian Guy, who authored the report on behalf of Associated Environmental Consultants Inc., said.
Guy, a retired geoscientist, said at this time last year the snowpack pointed to a normal or below-normal run-off year but an unusually wet spring changed everything.
While Guy said the government did all it could with the information and tools it had at the time, he does make recommendations to be better equipped next time around.
The report has 65 recommendations: everything form staffing levels and experience to better streamflow forecasting models, which experts say are needed because of the changing climate.
“They have to be using the latest modelling techniques and the latest computer processes to improve these models.”
But Guy concedes even the best models won’t work in an extreme year like 2017.
This year on March 1 the Okanagan snow pack was 141 per cent of what’s normal for this time of year.
The larger than usual snowpack has officials with the River Forecast Centre predicting an “increased seasonal risk of flooding.”