More than 120,000 sandbags were laid down to protect Penticton beaches during the flooding crisis. Western News file photo

Free sandbag and debris disposal

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is offering free sand and sandbag disposal

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is now accepting registration to have sandbags and flood debris removed from properties at no cost.

“We are all ready to be rid of the remnants of the flood and to clean up flood debris on the foreshore responsibly. Join in and have it all removed – at no cost,” said RDOS information officer Zoe Kirk.

The RDOS is offering the service to rural and residential lots in the region, local First Nations lands, and the Crown foreshore adjacent. All residents have to do is register and a strong labour force will come and remove them.

An RDOS contractor will remove sand and sand bags from residential properties. In order for the contractor to access private lands, a consent form must be signed and submitted prior to the contractor entering the premise. The registration consent form is available on the RDOS website under the 2017 Emergency Operations Centre link or at the RDOS Main Office, 101 Martin St. in Penticton. The forms can be submitted back to RDOS Emergency Operations Centre at eocops1@rdos.bc.ca or 101 Martin St., Penticton, BC V2A 5J9.

In addition, a flood recovery letter with forms is being mailed to foreshore residents in the region, however, you don’t need to wait for it to register.

A staged tentative schedule below:

Osoyoos Lake

July 25 to July 28

Okanagan Lake

Naramata – July 31 to Aug. 4

Rural Summerland – Aug. 7 to Aug. 9

Red Wing – Aug. 9 to 11

Any stockpiled sand remaining in neighbourhoods is free for the taking. It just must not end up in the lake or in any water bodies. The RDOS reminds residents that sand is not the natural shoreline and it is an offence to dump sand in or adjacent to the lake or water bodies.

Got Dock Debris and Flotsam Piling Up?

The RDOS is also helping to remove unsecured unnatural flood debris like dock fragments, floats and other large items as a result of high water. The consent form covers both sandbags and dock debris.

Landowners that have broken docks or unnatural debris and wish to have it removed through this program will need to identify the items to be removed with flagging tape. Only dock and related loose materials will be removed.

Okanagan Lake east shoreline – July 31 to Aug. 4

Okanagan Lake west shoreline – Aug. 7 to Aug. 11