Forecast shows Similkameen River will not peak as high as expected

Data is suggesting the peak of the Similkameen River will not be as high as forecasted last week

  • May. 16, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A chance of thunderstorms and rain Thursday might change things again, but at this point officials are starting to let out a sigh of relief that levels in the Similkameen River will not peak as high as expected.

Related: Flood risk increases as heavy rainfall forecast for the Okanagan

All evacuations alerts remain in effect, but good news is flowing out of the BC River Forecast Centre.

As of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday the service is reporting “river levels are expected to hold or drop slightly through Thursday. However, there is the potential for additional rises this weekend with warmer weather.”

Related: Evacuation alerts expanded in the Similkameen

The Similkameen is flowing through Hedley at 600 cubic metres per second, which is rated at between a five and 10 year flow. The flow is about 300 cubic metres per second drop from what was forecasted late last week.

Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer said things can still change and urged residents to continue to be prepared, but things were looking much better than predicted.

“I think we’re all having a little bit of a sigh of relief,” he said. “Yes, some people will have water damage especially if they have carpeting in their crawl spaces and basements but here in Keremeos we’ve faired very well.”

Bauer said the waste water treatment plant is working fine at this time. He said groundwater is coming up and an extra pump at the lift station has been brought in but all waste is being treated like normal.

George Bush, director for Area B (Cawston), said things are “wet,” in his area.

“Everything seems to be OK other than the water,” he said with a laugh.

The issue on Newton Road near Daly Drive seems to have been remedied at this time. A culvert was placed under the dike to deal with water that was seeping through it when the river peaked last week.

Related: Flood videos, photos out of Cawston

Bush said the culvert is working and most properties in that area are drier than last week except one.

Work continues to repair the dike off VLA Road. Erosion was spotted by helicopter. Crews have been working since Sunday hauling thousands of tonnes of material to try and fix it.

– with files

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