Officials keep eye on Shuswap flood risk

The weather is co-operating as crews continue to monitor lake and river levels for flood risk.

The weather is co-operating as crews continue to monitor lake and river levels for flood risk.

“The cooler temperatures are keeping the melt happening at a reasonable pace,” said Cliff Doherty, coordinator of the Shuswap Emergency Program. “The two rivers of major concern are the Seymour and Eagle rivers. Both have increased slightly but at this stage are still not a concern for us.”

With flooding ultimately governed by the weather, Doherty said the weather report shows hot weather is not expected for the next six days, which will allow six days of reasonable snow melt.

He said Tuesday he expects to begin increasing the distribution of sand to different locations Wednesday because Shuswap Lake is expected to reach a one-in-five-year flood level, similar to the level in 2008. At that time, he said, there was localized flooding of beach locations and residences.

Empty sandbags will be available at a number of spots which are listed on the website: www.sepadvisory.com. The site also contains flood-proofing tips.

John Rosenberg, Salmon Arm’s manager of roads and parks, has been monitoring the Salmon River and Shuswap Lake. He said the river has dropped significantly, going down 16 inches over the weekend. It came up only about four inches following Monday night’s big rain.

The lake, he said, is rising about five centimetres per day, “which is significantly less than during the high flows.” The lake level is now about 348.3 metres and, at 349, the city begins work to protect infrastructure in case it goes up to 349.5.

“We would start protecting the pump station at Canoe and a couple of other areas in town.”

Rosenberg said the city brought in 5,000 sandbags and, so far, only 400 have been picked up.

 

Salmon Arm Observer

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