Regional officials keeping eye on Testalinda Creek

Regional officials keeping eye on Testalinda Creek

Flood mitigation work continues in vineyards in the Testalinda Creek area southwest of Oliver. (Dan Walton photo)

By Lyonel Doherty

It’s a bail gravel, wait-and-see situation as regional officials keep an eye on the flood potential in the Oliver area.

Last Friday 15 homes in the Testalinda Creek area were placed on evacuation alert due to the fear of water undermining the canyon above where a large debris slide destroyed several homes and orchards in 2010.

This area was made more vulnerable in 2015 when wildfire destroyed many hectares of trees and vegetation.

That fire had a huge impact, said Emergency Services Supervisor Dale Kronebusch, who noted that people are monitoring the creek to ensure it isn’t being blocked by debris.

“There is way too much water, and there is a lot of snow to melt yet,” he pointed out, adding the spring freshet isn’t over yet.

Kronebusch said some properties have reported damage, such as Intersection Winery at Road 9, and Fairview Mountain Golf Course, where new streams and rivers have suddenly appeared due to the runoff.

Kronebusch said they are not seeing a serious potential for another slide yet, but the situation is being closely monitored.

He noted at long as Testalinda Creek keeps flowing freely and the gravel is being bailed out, trouble should be averted.

People are asked to report if they see the creek slow down due to a possible blockage somewhere upstream.

“We need to pay attention and stay alert in order to stay ahead of the game,” Kronebusch said.

He is advising people who have sandbags in place to keep them there until further notice.

The evacuation alert applies to homes on Testalinden Place, Golden Mile Drive, Highway 97 and Road 15.

Kronebusch advises people to stay well away from all creeks and rivers as water flows can change quickly and banks become increasingly undermined and unstable.

For more information visit, e-mail, call 250-492-0237 or call toll-free 1-877-610-3737.