Canada floods: Kelowna braces for worst flooding on record
Friday, 12 May 2017

It's being called "the perfect storm" and it could lead to thousands of people being evacuated in Kelowna later this week.

The triple-whammy of above normal snow pack levels and already saturated ground in the mountains, warming temperatures and forecasted heavy rainfall could combine to create a once-in-200 year flood event in the city.

"We are planning for the worst and hoping for he best," says Emergency Operations Centre director Brian Reardon. "Citizens should be doing the same. Last week's flooding may prove to be just a dress rehearsal for a much larger event "

He says upwards of 2,500 Kelowna residents could have to leave their homes.

Reardon advises people living in low-lying areas near water courses to start sandbagging now and to prepare a grab-bag of essential items should they be evacuated for an extended period.

About 100 forests ministry personnel will be in the city later Wednesday to help with sandbagging.
"Today is a call to action," says Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. "This is a serious issue heading our way we need to be prepared."

City crews are heightening the dikes along some stretches of Mission Creek.

"We are going to have to do our best to protect property, city infrastructure and residents, says Basran. "We will get through this as a community."

Water levels in already swollen creeks are expected to start peaking Thursday evening or Friday morning.


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