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West Kelowna wins award for 2017 freshet response

Gellatly Walkway in West Kelowna was partially washed-out by flood waters in 2017. Now the city has won an award for its response to last year's flooding. City of West Kelowna

As the Okanagan faces another season of flooding, the City of West Kelowna is getting a pat on the back for its handling of last year’s freshet.

The municipality said it is set to receive the American Public Works Association’s Exceptional Performance in Adversity Award thanks to a nomination from the Public Works Association of BC.

“The team faced unprecedented challenges as flash flooding caused bridge and road closures and threatened other public infrastructure and private property, followed by historically high Okanagan Lake levels that damaged property all along the city’s waterfront,” the city said in a media release.

Watch Below: Global Okanagan’s coverage of the 2017 flooding in West Kelowna.
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The city said its flood response team worked continuously for a hundred days during the flood threat, and their efforts are winning high praise from West Kelowna’s mayor.

“I have seen our crews do tremendous things on a day-to-day basis, but I have never witnessed such perseverance, dedication and grit as I did last year,” Mayor Doug Findlater said.

“Even weeks into the relentless event, when I visited impacted areas, I would see our staff, no doubt tired and stressed, but continuing to work as hard as they did on day one, literally doing everything they could to keep the waters at bay. It was humbling and heartwarming and I am very proud of all involved.”

A look back at photos of last year’s flooding in West Kelowna.

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Powers Creek flooding forces closure of Gellatly Road in West Kelowna. Global News File
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Residents of the Green Bay Mobile Home Park in West Kelowna no longer have lakefront property, as water is now beyond their sandbag walls and under their homes.
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Sat, May 6: A local state of emergency has been declared in West Kelowna and the Fintry Delta.
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West Kelowna residents living on Green Bay on Okanagan Lake have been sandbagging to prepare for record lake levels as the spring runoff continues to fill the lake to record highs. Bryon McLuckie/ Global Okanagan
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Flooding in Kalamoir Regional Park in West Kelowna.
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Gellatly Walkway in West Kelowna was partially washed-out by flood waters in 2017. Now the city has won an award for its response to last year's flooding. City of West Kelowna
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Gellatly dog beach in West Kelowna. Nicole Baggio
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Overwhelmed sandbag dyke at West Kelowna property. Lauren Pullen/Global News

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