B.C. braced for flood­ing ‘un­like any­thing ever seen’

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

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.

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