Penticton businesses like LocoLanding say though the city is preparing for floods, it is still open for business. - courtesy LocoLanding

Flood watch a proactive approach

Rising waters not affecting long weekend in Penticton

Concern over rising water levels isn’t dampening spirits in Penticton over the May long weekend.

“The market was packed yesterday. There are people out walking and enjoying the sun,” said Diana Stirling, owner of the LocoLanding Amusement Park.

She’s concerned that potential visitors might be worried flooding concerns have affected Penticton facilities and businesses.

“There is a tremendous amount of calls from people outside Penticton, asking if we are open because they think Penticton has been affected by the flooding, and we actually don’t have any,” said Stirling.

Peter Weeber, the city’s chief administrative officer, said Penticton has instituted a flood watch on areas of concern, like around the city’s iconic SS Sicamous, but there is no flooding yet.

“We still have a fair amount of room there. We’ve been out there sandbagging and preparing for a rise beyond where we are now. I think we have about six inches and then we are going to have to start doing something,” said Weeber. “In order to get six more inches, that’s a lot of water. We are feeling pretty good, but we are continuing to monitor everything.”

Other low-lying areas of concern include a small area near Okanagan Lake Park, Rotary Park and the Lakeside Resort, operations haven’t been affected.

“Penticton is open for business. All our beaches are open and all our amenities like LocoLanding and the SS Sicamous. They just had a wedding there yesterday afternoon and it is right in the highest water area,” said Weeber. “We have to prepare for this sort of thing and we have to keep the community up to date, but right now we are doing really well compared to places like Oliver and other places in the Okanagan.”

Stirling said there is no reason for visitors to be concerned.

“They (city officials) are really just managing and making us feel safe and looked after so we can be open,” said Stirling. “We are not affected by the water at all.”

The city will continue to issue situation updates at www.penticton.ca.