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Flood preparations urged in Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

High snowpack could lead to flooding events throughout region
In November, flooding affected the community of Princeton and the surrounding area. At present, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is warning residents of the possiblity of flooding throughout the regional district. (Photo Marcie Anne Roberts)

Because of the increased risk of flooding, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is urging residents and property owners to take precautions now.

According to the latest information from the River Forecast Centre Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin, the risk of flooding has increased because of cooler weather in May and a delayed snow melt.

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen conducting flooding survey

READ ALSO: Rivers high but not near November’s flood levels in South Okanagan Similkameen

On June 3, an evacuation alert was issued for 18 properties along Tulameen River Road. This alert remains in effect.

At present, snowpack levels in the regional district are between 153 and 165 per cent of normal levels. Because of the high snowpack levels, rain events have the potential to increase the flow of rivers, creeks and tributaries, affecting homes in low-lying areas and flood plains.

To prepare for flooding property owners are urged to remove personal items that may be damaged by high ground water and flooding. In addition, sandbag locations are listed on an interactive map on the regional district’s website at

Residents are also encouraged to have a plan for their family and pets’ needs and to have emergency kits with enough supplies for 72 hours.

For alerts and notifications, the regional district has partnered with Voyent Alert! to provide routine and emergency notifications throughout the region. Sign up now to receive email, text or phone notifications, or download the Voyent Alert! app through the App Store or Google Play.

Anyone noticing flooding or other issues is asked to call the emergency operations centre at 250-490-4225 or the provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456. In case of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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