Ducks enjoy checking out the real estate surrounding DeMille’s on May 15, much more accessible than in drier times. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Video: Peak levels for Salmon River downgraded

River flows remain at 100-year flood level, further flooding to depend on weather

As the old song goes, what a difference a day makes…

While properties in the Salmon Valley remain in the path of potential flooding, the focus is beginning to shift elsewhere.

The peak stream flow levels of the Salmon River are changing rapidly, just as quickly as the surge that flooded residents overnight on May 9 and 10. That surge reached 77.7 cubic metres per second.

Related: Flood waters causing destruction in Silver Creek

As of Tuesday, May 15, a peak level of 80 cubic metres per second was being forecast for Wednesday or Thursday of next week. It would have been even higher and possibly more devastating than the flooding caused on May 10, thanks to rapidly melting snowpacks.

However, as of Wednesday, May 16, things had changed.

Derek Sutherland, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s team leader with protective services, says the model has been modified somewhat to forecast a peak by Friday of next week of 73.5 cubic metres per second for the river, down four cubic metres from the May 10 surge.

“It’s still over the 100-year flood mark,” he cautions, explaining that the 100-year mark is 68.6 cubic metres per second.

He adds that only six cubic metres separate the 50- and 100-year record levels.

Related: Salmon River upgraded to flood warning status

Related: In photos: Back to flooding in the Shuswap

Before and since the May 10 flooding of the Salmon River Valley and properties along Salmon River Road – and elsewhere, much work has been done by residents and others.

On Tuesday of this week, provincial wildfire crews, in the absence of wildfires, were busy working on DeMille’s Farm Market next to the Salmon River Bridge and the Trans-Canada Highway, as well as properties along Salmon River Road.

A group of 17, they’re helping stressed and exhausted residents with sandbagging and preparation for further potential flooding.

He says the crews, who are staying in a hotel, are here to work 10 hours a day for seven days.

“These guys are pros. They’re experts in sandbagging, fit young men and women. They can get a lot done in a short amount of time.”

Related: Peak levels for Salmon River forecast for next week

Combined with what’s already been done, Sutherland says things are starting to look good.

“We feel like we’re getting Salmon River Road in good shape; we have a plan for it, we’re implementing that plan, and the forecast is cooperating.”

Sutherland adds that the forecast can change; while minimal amounts of rain aren’t a concern, a heavy rainfall could push up the river levels.

He said the work is starting to focus on recovering the Salmon River as well as responding to the 2018 Shuswap Lake freshet.

With larger than normal snowpacks to melt, the focus will be on protecting properties and critical infrastructure near the lake.

Salmon Arm draws most of its water from the lake, so protecting the water treatment plant at Canoe Beach from flooding, for instance, will be a priority.

If you require support, including sand and sandbags, contact the Shuswap Emergency Program at 250-832-2424.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Provincial wildfire crews sandbag on May 15 at DeMille’s Farm Market alongside gabion baskets that are like giant sandbags. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Flooding could be seen all along the Salmon Valley, including this field photographed on May 10 on 50th Street SW. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Keremeos skating rink extends season

The Keremeos skating rink will remain open as long as their favourable weather and people use it.

Cold case files: Penticton man still missing after two years

Penticton RCMP are hoping that re-sharing of this information may lead to new tips from the public

Talks continue on structure of regional fire departments

Okanagan-Similkameen directors heard under the current structure the CAO’s title would need to change

PRICK! sees increase in patients

The rainbow friendly service offers STI and HIV screening monthly

First Things First evoking the power of song and play

Environmental group educating through entertainment

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Most Read