Storm side­steps soggy Okana­gan, B.C., but flood threat still looms

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

Thun­der­storms and heavy rain by­passed Bri­tish Columbia’s Okana­gan re­gion Thurs­day night, spar­ing the flood­plagued re­gion from fur­ther high wa­ter, but emer­gency of­fi­cials said the dan­ger has not passed.

The Cen­tral Okana­gan emer­gency op­er­a­tions cen­tre said in a news re­lease on Friday that un­sta­ble weather would main­tain the flood risk.

“It’s pretty dy­namic,” said cen­tre spokes­woman Kari O’Rourke. “We are con­cerned be­cause of the lake lev­els, we are at full pool now, and we haven’t hit the peak of our freshet, so that is go­ing to be con­tin­u­ally mon­i­tored and as­sessed as we go along,” she said. A freshet is the sig­nif­i­cant rise in river lev­els caused by melt­ing snow, and the River Fore­cast Cen­tre has es­ti­mated snow­packs in the Okana­gan re­gion to be as much as 147 per cent above nor­mal, with much of the melt still to come.

The melt­ing snow­pack and re­cent rain caused flood­ing, washouts and mud­slides in many ar­eas of the south and cen­tral In­te­rior, forc­ing evac­u­a­tions and evac­u­a­tion alerts.

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