Slow but steady: Okanagan Lake levels continue to decline
The slow, but steady decrease continues for levels of Okanagan lakes.
Okanagan Lake dropped 1.9 centimetres from Monday and is now at 342.964 metres above sea level. The lake remains just over 48 centimetres above full pool, the normal lake level for this time of year. Since Monday, Kalamalka Lake decreased 2.9 centimetres and is now at 392.179 metres, which is also 48 centimetres above full pool.
Major efforts were taken leading up to the long weekend to try and clean up and open as many waterfront beach areas as possible in each municipality and local government. This work will continue in aresa where it is safe and the flood risk is minimal.
Property owners along lakefront should continue to monitor their flood protection measures. For residents in areas were the flooding risk has passed, more information about sandbag locations for drop off, details about recovery efforts, and a link to the online Emergency Management BC sandbag recovery application, can be found at www.cordemergency.ca/beprepared/flood-recovery.
High, rapid moving water makes activity on the Okanagan Channel extremely dangerous. Floating on the Penticton Channel is not advised at this time.
While lake levels in the South Okanagan decline slowly, water levels remain above the predicted 200-year flood levels. Boating is a significant tourist attraction in the Okanagan; but with higher than normal lake levels, boaters should ensure their safety and minimize their impacts to vulnerable homes, docks and property.
Boaters should stay well back from any lake areas with docks or buildings to avoid damaging property or foreshore and are asked to:
- Be aware there are submerged docks, dock materials and floating debris in the lake,
- Refrain from hydroplaning (fast speeds creating a large wake),
- Keep wake in the low wake zones to 30 cm maximum to minimize damage to shoreline and property,
- Remain 300 metres from the shoreline whenever possible or travel in the centre of the lake when approaching vulnerable shorelines,
- Within 300 metres to shore, slow down (under 5 knots) to the point where there is the smallest wake possible.
For beach water quality updates, visit Interior Health’s Water Samples page on www.interiorhealth.ca.
To stay informed about Central Okanagan flooding and the recovery efforts, visit www.cordemergency.ca, sign up for e-updates or call the information line at 250-469-8490. In the South Okanagan, visit www.rdos.bc.ca, call 250-490-4225 or toll-free 1-877-610-3737.
Photo by Wolf Borowski