The Revelstoke forestry crew and Penticton firefighters were hard at it Saturday, sandbagging around the marina on Okanagan Lake, where water continues to flood inland. The Penticton Yacht Club has closed the boat launch and gas bar for safety concerns. Photos courtesy Peter Weeber

Yacht Club closes boat launch

Work began on repairing the breakwater protecting the Penticton Yacht Club, but water keeps rising

The Penticton Yacht Club has closed the boat launch and the gas dock.

Water levels have risen to the point where wave action and ground water has made the area unsafe to operate. Power has been cut to boat launch area and sandbags have been installed to hold back rising water.

Work was also started on reinforcing the breakwater protecting the boats at the marina, which was breached in two places Wednesday by high waves.

The BC River Forecast has indicated there is the potential for Okanagan Lake to increase to 343.15 metres, exceeding the 1948 flood level of 343 metres, which Environment Canada reports Okanagan Lake reached just before noon on May 27. This is a five-centimetre rise since May 26 at 4 a.m. when the lake level was reported as 343 m.

The Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen is asking residents and visitors to limit boat use, especially on Okanagan, Skaha and Osoyoos Lakes.

High water is already affecting homes, cabins and docks along the lakeshores, and boat wakes can send water over sandbags and into homes already dealing with flooding.

Boat operators should also watch their speed to avoid floating or hidden debris, which is making it treacherous on local lakes and rivers.

The RDOS also warns that rivers are faster and more dangerous than usual. Tubing on local rivers is not advised on the Penticton Channel, Okanagan or Similkameen Rivers for These rivers are exceptionally high and fast, and debris is moving through these systems that could seriously hurt people.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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