City activates Emergency Operations Centre for spring flooding

By Tanya Cronin
May 9, 2018 - 4:47pm Updated: May 9, 2018 - 5:26pm

KAMLOOPS — Rainfall and rising temperatures are keeping the threat of flooding in this province, very much 'top of mind'. In Kamloops, water levels in local creeks are being monitored closely, and Wednesday, the city activated its Emergency Operations Centre. Officials are checking contingency plans, reviewing ongoing water issues, and are at the ready, should a situation turn drastic.      

They are powerful, fast-moving waters, taking over creeks, streams and rivers throughout much of the Southern Interior. In some cases submerging properties, and cutting new pathways through grassy yards and fields. 

"Campbell Creek is the most concerning area right now, that's why we've got our staff out there 24/7 monitoring that, last night we did get some rain we saw about an inch of rise on Campbell Creek," says Greg Wightman, City Utilities Services Manager.

As the threat of spring flooding intensifies, the City of Kamloops is on high alert, and has activated its Emergency Operations Centre. Providing assistance to residents, should they need it.  

"A multi-agency activation, so RCMP, KFR, Communications, Purchasing, everything that we need to make sure we've got not only the plan we're working on now in place, but also plan A, plan B, plan C and into the future there," says Wightman.

"Making sure we have a coordinated approach, make sure we're all on the same page as far as any plans and make sure we're communicating and as ready as we can be as a city to respond should things go where we don't want them to go," says Assistant Chief Dan Sutherland, Kamloops Fire Rescue.

Located at the City's Public Works building on Concordia Way, officials are checking contingency plans and keeping a close eye on the local flooding situation in Kamloops. A situation that remains at bay for now, but has the ability to turn ugly at any time.

"Some of the reports we had coming in were the majority of the snow is gone from the Campbell Creek drainage, but we always want to err on the side of caution, that's why we're here today (Wednesday) at the Emergency Operations Centre just to make sure we're as ready as we can be for any eventuality."

Water levels in Peterson Creek, Noble and Tranquille Creeks are being watched, with Campbell Creek being the top priority right now. Barnhartvale Road has been washed out and closed, and residents have spent the better part of the week shoring up the creek bank, and sandbagging, to keep flood waters out.  

In Kamloops, the mid-elevation snowpack is melting rapidly. But officials are at a heightened level of readiness, and will respond to what the forecast brings. In the meantime, everyone is being urged to stay away from rivers, creeks and waterways.

"Don't get too focused on laying your sandbags, make sure you're absolutely safe, that water is moving very quickly, it's very very cold, we just want to make sure people stay as safe as they can be, again the City of Kamloops is monitoring this very very closely, and should conditions warrant, we would be communicating with them right away to make sure they're prepared to move," says Sutherland.


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