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Shuswap Lake to peak in coming days

Shuswap Lake predicted to approach 2018 high-water levels
Families of geese explore the grass for things to eat while keeping close to the high water of Shuswap Lake that flowed over the cement wall at Canoe Beach in 2020. (File photo)

Shuswap Lake is expected to peak this weekend or early next week, according to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).

On June 22, the lake level was recorded at 348.692 metres, up from 348.608 m on June 21.

Forecasted data from two different types of provincial modelling systems are currently suggesting Saturday, June 25 or Sunday, June 26 may see the highest water levels for the year for the lake.

Derek Sutherland, director of the Shuswap’s Emergency Operations Centre, which is currently activated for the flood watch, said localized flooding has already taken place in several areas.

“There has been the need to close a few parks, for example. But the projections stop short of the severe flooding levels seen in 2012,” he said.

Historic levels
Historic levels

In 2018 Shuswap Lake peaked at 349.141 m and in 2012 at 349.588 m.

The Emergency Program remains active and preparations are in place should lake levels rise higher than predicted. The District of Sicamous is paying particular attention to the downtown area where flooding takes place when the lake reaches the 349.2-m mark. Additional sandbags, large-scale gabion baskets and a specialized Aqua Dam are available for deployment if needed.

Sutherland reminds boaters to be respectful to those on shore by travelling slowly.

“Wave action from boat wakes can have a dramatic impact on flooded areas of shoreline, causing erosion and damage,” he said.

READ MORE: Hot weather statement issued for Okanagan

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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