May 17, 2018 1:23 pm
Updated: May 17, 2018 8:05 pm

Popular Penticton beach closed heading into May long weekend

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A popular beach in Penticton has been closed until further notice due to the threat of flooding.

With the water level in Okanagan Lake rising, the City of Penticton has closed the public beach along Lakeshore Road between the SS Sicamous and the Penticton Lakeside Hotel.

Measures to protect public infrastructure from flood waters were being put in place Thursday morning. They include 1,300 metres of gabion baskets and 750 metres of tiger dam protection near the dam and pier.

WATCH BELOW: City engineer Ian Chapman explains Okanagan Lake fortification measures in Penticton 

Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson told Global News that instead of sandbags, the city decided to use gabion baskets saying they are much faster to deploy.

“We’re using heavy equipment and sand and gabions versus hundreds of thousands of sandbags and a whole lot of firefighters,” he said.

The closure comes ahead of a typically busy May long weekend.

Travel Penticton executive director Thom Tischik said tourism operators may suffer a blow.

“There may be abit of an impact for tourism, yes, however these are things that we need to do. We want to be proactive so that the beaches are great for the rest of the season,” he said.

Watkinson said the beach could be closed until June.

The beach along Skaha Lake on the southern side of the city remains open for locals and tourists to enjoy.

WATCH BELOW: ‘Mayhem’: 2017 Windstorm batters south Okanagan

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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