Flood evacuees petition for creek fix near Oliver, B.C.

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Flood evacuees petition for creek fix near Oliver, B.C – Oct 3, 2018

It was one of the most severe flood zones in the South Okanagan this spring.

Sportsmens Bowl Road, south of Oliver was turned into a raging river. The residential street was compromised by floodwaters and people were forced out of their homes for up to two months.

“It was very, very stressful,” said local resident Allen Lamb.

While the freshet has passed, the water is still there.

“It made its own new channel, down through the center of the farms and out onto the road,” said resident Dennis Tomlin.

Property owners are now flooded with fears.

“What we want to do is to put this water back in Park Rill Creek,” Tomlin said.

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Residents decided to band together and signed a petition.

It demands the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and provincial government work together to relocate the watercourse to its original creek bed on the other side of their properties.

“It would be the most logical solution I would think to this water problem,” Lamb said.

The waterway cuts across his piece of paradise.

“I can’t access the back of my property. I had bought more fruit trees to plant back here.”

Brian Fehr is the operator of Pipe Dreams Winery. It’s been operational since 2014. He said if no action is taken, the area will flood again.

“We can’t spend the resources to protect our property like this every year… when this could be repaired, mitigated, moved,” he said.

The B.C. government said it is working with the regional district regarding a long-term plan to prevent future flooding on the entire watershed area upstream.

“In the interim, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is restoring Sportsmens Bowl Road back to two lanes in preparation for the winter season,” the statement said.

The future location of the creek remains unclear.


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