B.C. braced for flooding ‘unlike anything ever seen’
British Columbia’s Okanagan region is bracing for a storm that Kelowna’s mayor worries could unleash the worst flooding the region has ever seen.
Mayor Colin Basran posted a Facebook statement describing expected water levels as “unlike anything we have ever seen in our community.”
“Flooding in the Kelowna region is imminent,” said Brian Reardon, the Central Okanagan Regional District’s director of emergency operations, during a news conference Wednesday.
The regional district issued a news release early Thursday advising residents that the risk of flooding within hours was very high.
It said people in low-lying areas such as the Okanagan Lakeshore or Kelowna’s downtown core should take measures to protect their properties.
“A combination of rain and spring snow melt over the next few days will lead to rising water levels, likely to peak later (Thursday) and will increase the risk of flooding,” the release said.
Suburban and rural planning manager Todd Cashin said reservoirs around Kelowna are full, the ground is saturated and all area lakes are at capacity.
“Our cup is full, the bucket is full, there’s really nowhere more for the rain to go except over creek banks and up onto people’s properties along our lakes,” he said.
Basran warned that many people could be displaced in the hours and days ahead and urged residents in unaffected neighbourhoods to consider taking in friends or family who have been forced from their homes.
“This is the time now where, as a community, we need to come together and look after each other,” he said.