RDOS hires specialist to assess flood risks

RDOS hires specialist to assess flood risks

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A vehicle makes its way on Johnson Crescent that has flooded in one section. (Photo Lyonel Doherty)

In light of recent flooding, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) has hired a specialized hydrologist to look at options for moving water through the area.

A local state of emergency remains in effect for the Willowbrook area north-west of Oliver, due to flooding along Kearns Creek, affecting approximately 20 homes.

The RDOS has also received funding from Emergency Management BC to do a 2018 specific flood risk assessment based on the heavy rain received and high snow pack in the southern interior.

The Willowbrook area is located upstream of a number of other homes along Kearns Creek. The effects of water upstream and downstream of the community will be considered before digging or pumping will be enacted.

“Before we can start trenching or pumping water we need to understand what the consequences will be,” said Emergency Management Program Coordinator Paul Edmonds. “Speeding up water in one place could damage homes and property lower down. That risk needs to be understood.”

The water in Willowbrook remains stable but slowly rising ground water as snows melt remains a concern, not only in the area but the entire RDOS.

Residents are encouraged to check basements for water and prepare their property for any potential run off. Sand and sandbags are available across the south Okanagan for homeowners.

In Oliver, sand and sandbags can be picked up at the Willowbrook Fire Hall (3395 Willowbrook Road), the corner or Myers Rd and Johnson Rd, and the Oliver Fire Hall (369 Similkameen Ave).

In Osoyoos, supplies are available in the vacant lot across from the Dairy Queen on Main Street.

The Emergency Operations Centre is continuing to remain open. For inquiries, please call the 250- 490-4225 or visit www.rdos.bc.ca.

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