Rising waters, warmer temperatures in central Okanagan keep flood watchers wary

By The Canadian Press
May 19, 2017 - 10:16am

VANCOUVER — Emergency officials in British Columbia’s central Okanagan are watching rising waters in Okanagan Lake and the weather as flood preparations continue around Kelowna.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan says the lake rose another 2.5 centimetres Thursday, pushing it to 342.779 metres, barely 20 centimetres below flood stage.

Several days of hot weather are also in the forecast, with temperatures expected to reach the mid-to-high 20s by next week.

The warm weather is raising concerns about rapid melting of snowpacks in the hills above Kelowna, sending more water into already swollen waterways, such as Mission and Mill creeks, which run through downtown Kelowna.

Dave Campbell of the River Forecast Centre says only about five per cent of the heavy snowpacks at higher elevations above Kelowna have melted, and the headwaters of Mission Creek are in that upper region.

All evacuation orders and alerts have been lifted within the regional district, but EmergencyInfoBC says several homes along the Nicola River outside Merritt and 24 properties in Lumby, east of Vernon, remain on evacuation order due to high levels in nearby rivers and streams.

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