Flooding issues in the Thompson watershed such as what has occurred in Lumby in the past is why a new flood risk assessment mitigation project has been initiated. (File Photo/Morning Star)

Snowpack levels concern village

Lumby asks RDNO to release water from Duteau Creek storage reservoirs

  • Feb. 15, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Flood concerns have prompted the Village of Lumby into action.

The River Forecast Centre advises that current snowpack levels in the Okanagan Valley are concerning. As of Feb. 1, the centre said snowpack levels are 131 per cent of normal in the valley. At the same time a year ago, the levels were 78 per cent of normal.

It’s at 120 per cent of normal that the province starts to be concerned with the potential for flooding.

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton said snowpack levels in March and April will be the benchmark for the province to confirm the outlook for potential flooding.

“The province has advised that a high snowpack increases the probability of flooding,” said Acton. “Rainfall is the wildcard in the overall contributories to potential flooding. Mother nature is extremely unpredictable. The province is watching the snowpack levels and other contributing factors that impact potential flooding.”

See related: Lumby keeps fighting floods

Lumby council has written the Regional District North Okanagan (RDNO) a letter on behalf of the residents, businesses and land owners in the village. As the RDNO is the controlling government body of the Duteau Creek Storage Reservoirs (Aberdeen, Haddo and Grizzly), Lumby is again asking that the RDNO water management team work diligently to ensure the safety of Lumby by releasing water during this time of year and not allowing Grizzly, Haddo and Aberdeen Reservoirs to fill to the point of overflowing.

“We are greatly concerned with the current snow pack levels in the Aberdeen Plateau and are wanting to be proactive in response to potential flooding,” said Action. “Knowing that there could be excessive snow accumulation in the higher elevations, with spring rains to follow, the Village of Lumby requested that we would like to work closely with the RDNO to mitigate the risk of disastrous flooding to Lumby residents and businesses.”

The village will continue to monitor the creek levels, the reports from the province’s River Forecast Centre as well as communicate its continued concerns with the RDNO.

“The Village of Lumby has done everything in its power to be proactive in the past to prevent flooding and the damage it causes,” said Acton. “However, we would like to remind residents that the province only funds flood response during an actual emergency or flood event.”

Private property owners are responsible for protection of their own property; the village will provide sand bags that will be distributed in various locations in the community. For 2018 the village has ordered 48,000 sand bags from Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to mitigate potential flooding.

Educational resources are available at the Village of Lumby Municipal Office located at 1775 Glencaird Street.

The village wishes to advise the residents of Lumby that the current emergency earthworks from the 2017 flood event will not be altered until the third party assessment is completed and approved by the province. A plan to move forward will then be developed by the village in collaboration with the province.

Further information will be posted on the Village of Lumby website at www.lumby.ca.

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