Osoyoos state of emergency declared amid flood threat, rising waters

Local state of emergency declared in Osoyoos as lake quickly rises to flood levels

A state of local emergency has been declared in the Town of Osoyoos amid rising lake levels that could threaten people’s homes.

The declaration was issued Wednesday.

Coverage of B.C. floods on

It said that Osoyoos Lake is seeing “higher than normal levels” and people have been asked to be prepared to protect waterfront properties against high water.

Wind and waves, the bulletin said, can “increase the need for higher sandbagging or protection.”

Meanwhile, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has issued a state of local emergency for Electoral Area A, which covers rural Osoyoos.

Flooding there is being caused by high water in the Similkameen River.

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A state of local emergency means that municipalities and regional districts can use emergency powers that are issued under B.C.’s Emergency Program Act.

That can include ordering the evacuation of homes, restricting travel and entering private properties when lives, property or the environment are threatened within a particular jurisdiction.

The bulletin came one day after Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for the Okanagan, Similkameen and Boundary regions warning of rain that could worsen the flood risk.

A Pacific weather system was expected to bring as much as 25 millimetres of rain on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday.

That, said Environment Canada, could result in more flooding.