The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) says there is an increased risk of flooding in the Similkameen area, according to a recent River Forecast Centre Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin.
The RDOS says continued cool weather is increasing the risk of flooding if a prolonged heatwave occurs over the next few weeks.
“The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is reminding residents and property owners to prepare now for potential flooding,” read the RDOS press release.
According to the RDOS, the current snowpack in the Similkameen region is near normal. However, due to significant erosion and possible changes to the river channel morphology, some rivers, including the Tulameen River, may be at increased risk of flooding at lower levels.
“Prolonged rain events may impact water levels in rivers and tributaries. According to the River Forecast Centre, the unprecedented and catastrophic flooding that occurred in November 2021 has made many rivers more vulnerable to freshet high flows,” read the RDOS press release.
The RDOS is urging residents to use caution around streams, lakes and rivers where water levels may be rising or fast-moving, and to stay clear of eroded banks.
Property owners in low-lying areas are also being advised to consider sandbagging their property.
Sand and sandbags are available for free at sandbag centres, including fire halls in Tulameen and Coalmont. Additional sandbag locations are listed on the RDOS website.
“Emergency preparedness also includes having a plan to ensure your family and pet’s needs are considered before an unexpected event occurs,” read the RDOS press release.
“Pre-planning, including having emergency kits with enough supplies for 72 hours and having fuel in generators, can help your family cope should conditions change suddenly.“