Flooding concerns resume for B.C.’s Okanagan

Environment Canada warns property owners this week’s weather will reignite flooding in southern B.C.

While dryer and slighter cooler days over the weekend have calmed some flooding concerns throughout the region, we are not out of the water yet.

Environment Canada is warning property owners that hot days followed by more rain may reignite flooding throughout the Southern Interior.

“We have two more days here of cooler weather which helps with the snow melt, and a total of three days without much precipitation, but after that it warms up again,” warns meteorologist Doug Lundquist.

“For Wednesday we are forecasting highs in the 26 C range and then Thursday and Friday we may get another 15-25 millimetres of rain, maybe even more, with the next weather system. There is certainly more concern coming up.”

Lundquist says while the initial snow pack that caused a lot of the flooding last week has now melted, there is several other higher-elevation snow packs that are now a concern.

“High elevation or different watersheds may see the snowpack melt. So when that happens with the rainfall coming on Thursday and Friday it is a concern,” said Lunquist.

“Where it did flood prior there may be less pressure, but there may be new watersheds under pressure when the next system runs through.

“This is definitely going to add to the already saturated situation when we get more rain Thursday and Friday.”

For those concerned about more flooding, Lundquist has some advice.

“Prepare. Clear out blocked culverts and blocked waterways with sticks and, whatever we can do to help clear them out from smaller creeks – these are the ones that are tending to flash sooner,” says Lundquist.

“Longer term we will see the bigger creeks and rivers start to rise.

“Recover over the next few days, but prepare for what might happen Thursday or Friday.”

Disaster Financial Assistance is now available to eligible B.C. residents impacted by the damaging flooding that began on Friday.

Declarations of Local States of Emergency remain for the City of Kelowna, the City of West Kelowna and for the Fintry Delta in the Regional District of Central Okanagan to address flooding.

The Preparedness BC website has information to help those property owners with protecting their property from flooding and some considerations for those returning after a flood.

Interior Health also has information available for residents to consider Before, During and After a flood.

Information on flooding and electrical safety is also available for BC Hydro and FortisBC customers: www.bchydro.com www.fortisbc.com

For up to date information on the situation including a map and to sign up for e-updates, visit www.cordemergency.ca.

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