Okanagan Lake – Flood Level Update

People and boats asked to stay away from log booms being installed on Okanagan Lake

News Release No. 36 Central Okanagan, B.C. — Starting tomorrow, crews will be out installing log booms on Okanagan Lake to protect public infrastructure and beachfront areas from possible high winds and wave action.

Three sets of log booms will be installed just offshore near Swim Bay in Peachland, Hot Sands Beach in Kelowna’s City Park, and Maude-Roxby Bird Sanctuary in Kelowna. More log booms may be deployed in other areas over the next week if needed.

We would like to thank Tolko for offering to supply the logs needed to build up to 1.7-km worth of log booms.

The log booms will be anchored with chains attached to concrete blocks placed on the bottom of the lake. The blocks will be marked with buoys on the surface and boaters are asked to keep away from the log booms to avoid damage.

“We’re also reminding people to stay off the log booms as they are unstable, and hands and feet could become trapped between the logs leading to serious injury,” says the EOC.

Residents and visitors are also asked to stay away from other flood protection equipment. Jumping or walking on gabions or water dams is a public safety concern and could damage or undermine the device causing ruptures and significant water flows.

As of this morning, Okanagan Lake is at 342.69 m, which is 57 cm below the high water mark of 2017. However, a severe wind and/or rain event could push water levels much higher and lead to flooding and erosion.

Both Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes are above full pool and flood protection measures continue to be deployed as needed. People living along the waterfront are urged to take precautions to protect their property. This includes installing measures to prevent erosion, securing docks and making sure boat anchor lines are long enough so they don’t snap if water continues to rise. Sand and sandbag locations are available at www.cordemergency.ca/map

The Province has indicated Okanagan Lake is within a week of peaking, but ultimately weather will determine both the lake level and timing.

Concern around area creeks has been reduced and crews are redeploying bladder dams and sandbags in preparation for use along the lakeshore if necessary.

As well, debris washed up on beaches should be left for the time being. The logs and other wood will help limit erosion caused by wave action. When the flood risk has passed, officials will provide notification of how the beach debris will be removed, along with information about how to remove and dispose of sandbags installed on private property.

Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied into any creeks, lakes, wetland, beaches or other watercourses as outlined in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.

For more information, visit www.cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates or call the information line at 250-469-8490.

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