Small lake in South Okanagan rising at an incredible rate nears retired couple’s doorstep

Click to play video: 'The unwanted lake in Osoyoos' The unwanted lake in Osoyoos
The unwanted lake in Osoyoos – Jun 7, 2018

Marie and Roger Richardson say a small lake near their home has been rising nonstop for nearly two years, and now it’s encroaching on their doorstep.

“The lake has risen for 20 months nonstop,” said Roger Richardson, who lives beside Conifryd Lake at 18769 Highway 3, which is a stone’s throw from Spotted Lake and 10 kilometres from Osoyoos.

“A year ago, it was the highest in decades and it’s currently six feet higher than that. It’s still rising steadily.”

READ MORE: About 100 residents attend flood information meeting in Osoyoos

Richardson claims that water is running in from hundreds of acres of parkland and under Highway 3, which has caused the lake to rise. He says water is now seeping into the house.

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A photo of Conifryd Lake, near Osoyoos, B.C., and how it is rising rapidly. Kelly Hayes / Global News

Richardson said they’ve had “no help from any government departments after two months of trying to get any assistance. We have only had sympathy plus referrals to other departments. This is very stressful, since our house is in danger.”

Richardson said he’s contacted the Ministry of Transportation, but has gotten nowhere. According to Richardson, there was an outflow for the lake, but that was filled in a few years ago by a driveway. The Ministry won’t install a new outlet until Highway 3 is in danger of flooding.

READ MORE: Osoyoos open for business despite flooding

By that time, Richardson said, our house will be flooded.

“Our neighbour has been the only source of help in this situation,” said Richardson, adding they’ve already spent $4,000 trying to save their home. “They have generously allowed us to drain a quantity of the lake onto their property. The limit for their area has been reached and the lake continues to rise. They are amazing people who gave us more time to deal with the problem.

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“We’re seniors living on pensions, so having our home flooded is a serious matter.”

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