Crews are working to keep flood waters from expanding in Lumby. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Floods gain attention

MP Mel Arnold toured the saturated North Okanagan Saturday

The rising challenges flowing through the North Okanagan with flood waters are getting some federal attention, but not in the way of financial support.

Mel Arnold, North Okanagan Shuswap MP, said no calls for federal assistance have been made yet as provincial support is currently underway.

But Arnold has made Ottawa aware of the situation after touring the most heavily impacted regions Saturday.

“Lumby has the biggest challenge because of the three streams that converge basically downtown Lumby,” said Arnold. “They’re working frantically to get the berms in place to hopefully get ahead of any other rising water.”

Arnold was also in Falkland on the weekend, where he admits there is limited support for farmers and land owners beyond home damage.

“There’s very little, if any, assistance for that type of thing,” he said of land damage.

Rene Talbot, Area D director (which includes Falkland), said there are frustrations among some residents.

“Everybody’s sort of dealing with it on their own,” said Talbot, as government agency assistance is limited.

Arnold also notes that those with secondary homes will not receive assistance.

“Summer cottages, those types of things aren’t going to be covered,” he said, urging those with secondary homes or land that could be impacted by flooding to be pro-active and do what they can to protect their properties.

“It’s a case of making sure people are as prepared as possible ahead of time,” said Arnold.

“If we see Shuswap Lake rising, and even Okanagan or any of the other lakes, the challenge is going to expand exponentially.”

Even Arnold, whose Salmon Arm home sits on top of a hill, is facing challenges.

“Once in 20 years we’ve had one day where we’ve had water in our basement, this year the pump’s been running non-stop. That’s the level of saturation in the area.”