Evacuation alerts issued as floodings intensifies in Okanagan area

Six properties in Olalla, southwest of Penticton, were evacuated as Keremeos Creek burst its banks.  A full list of evacuations in the Okanagan-Similkameen district can be found here.  As well, the Okanagan Indian Band ordered evacuations for several properties on the west side of Okanagan Lake, south of Vernon.

Several new evacuation orders were issued around the Central Okanagan and Similkameen overnight as area lakes and waterways continue to rise.

The orders came just hours after the Central Okanagan Regional District placed properties at the mouth of Mission Creek on evacuation alert due to increasing creek flow, with anticipated wind gusts expected to “put pressure on fortifications in that area.”

A full list of evacuation alerts near Mission Creek can be found here.

In Summerland, a state of local emergency was declared for 13 properties around Trout Creek, east of Highway 97.

“This declaration is required because of the impact of the rising ground water on Summerland’s electrical system,” the district said in a statement, explaining they would be turning off electricity to the affected areas immediately.

A full list of affected properties in Summerland can be found here.

Gusty winds biggest threat

Officials with the City of Kelowna say gusty winds are the latest threat that could add to flooding woes in the Central Okanagan.

City spokesman Tom Wilson says winds of up to 25 kilometres per hour are forecast to continue into Wednesday.

Winds have the potential to whip up waves or cause a surge into already inundated areas beside Okanagan Lake.

Wilson says crews are working to improve flood protection at the south end of the William Bennett Bridge connecting Kelowna and West Kelowna.

A news release from the Central Okanagan Regional District says Okanagan Lake was two centimetres higher than it was on Monday, and 10 centimetres above historic flood levels recorded in 1948.

Sandbagging continues throughout the region and the regional district says flooding of area lakes and streams will persist for some time, but it has also lifted an evacuation order for two properties on the west side of Okanagan Lake just north of Fintry.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District is also warning of possible flooding as Kamloops Lake, and the North and South Thompson rivers creep up, threatening properties in Kamloops and along the length of those waterways.