Shuswap communities are keeping an eye on creek levels and stocking up on the necessary sandbags as the snow in the mountains melt.
The Village of Chase has set up three sandbag distribution stations amid expectations that Chase Creek may approach, meet or exceed flood levels this year.
According to a statement from the village, staff have conducted some inspections along the creek and think there are currently no areas that present an immediate problem. Despite the lack of an immediate threat, some residents have raised concerns about flood impacts on their property so sand and sandbags are being made available.
Residents can pick up sand and sandbags at the Chase public works yard located at 1067 Paquette Rd. as well as at Memorial Park and the Mill Park Boat launch. Those picking up sandbags are asked to bring their own shovels.
When water levels do rise, residents are asked to avoid the edges of creeks and rivers.
District of Sicamous staff are performing daily creek checks and monitoring lake levels. District operations manager Joe McCulloch said they are planning for any eventuality and are in regular discussion with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).
He said sand bags and sand are in stock in Sicamous should they be needed. They are typically distributed at sites around the district for people to fill up themselves.
So far, the only flooding events in the area have been caused by clogged culverts and quickly resolved by road maintenance crews but with higher than normal snow pack conditions the potential for high river and lake levels is there.
CSRD emergency program coordinator Tom Hansen said spring weather, particularly rainfall and the rate of snow melt, is the most important factor in determining whether the area will experience flooding.
-With files from Martha Wickett