While the threat of flooding is receding for most areas in the Shuswap, precautions still need to be taken as residents carry on or rebuild after nature’s onslaught of moisture.
For some the rebuilding will carry on for months, if not years, while for others, the rainfall, freshet and their aftermath were witnessed in a spectator role rather than as a participant directly affected.
One warning goes to boaters and to anyone venturing out on area lakes and rivers. Government officials are urging people to stay off the lakes as much as possible, because of the dangers from large amounts of debris. If you must venture out, proceed with caution and go slowly. Wake from marine craft can still have damaging effects on shorelines already ravaged.
Along with the obvious dangers of large chunks of floating debris, some of the unseen threats are microscopic pathogens in the water.
Dan Ferguson with Interior Health warns the public to not drink untreated surface water – now or at any time of year. One seemingly simple remedy: if you go swimming, keep your mouth closed. He also notes that flooding brings an increased risk to water supplies, so those people who use well water should make sure, if it has been compromised, to get it tested.
Regarding the aftermath of flash floods on water bodies such as Mara Lake, turbidity – or cloudiness – increases.
The sediment is not so much the problem, but the pathogens it contains. Unwanted passengers contained within, such as giardia or E. coli, can be remedied by boiling.
While water levels may be receding, vigilance following the flooding is still a necessity.