Evacuations underway in Kelowna due to flooding
Published Saturday, May 6, 2017 1:25PM PDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 6, 2017 7:36PM PDT
Emergency crews in the Central Okanagan continue to tackle a major flood, and a local state of emergency has been declared for the City of West Kelowna.
First responders have conducted tactical evacuations of people elsewhere in the Kelowna region whose safety is deemed at risk.
A landslide also hit the 5900-block of Sunnybrae-Canoe Point Road around noon Saturday, and Mounties were quickly on the scene helping to evacuate homes as a precaution.
Brian Reardon,director of the region's emergency operations, said the winter’s heavy snowfall is part of the problem.
“When you take a look at the area mountaintops, you see that they are capped by snow so what happens is the warmer temperatures combined with significant rainfall creates a storm surge,” said Reardon.
An Evacuation Alert remains in place affecting approximately 90 properties in the Fintry Delta area, just south of Fintry Provincial Park. Residents in this area should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice.
Flooding has also forced the closure of two more roads in Kelowna. Sutherland Avenue, from Pandosy Avenue to Richter Street, and Buckland Avenue, from Marshall Street to Ellis Street, are now closed. Marshall Street also remains blocked off.
Residents not forced to leave are now dealing with the damage to their homes. Ryan Evans spent much of yesterday filling, hauling and laying down protective sandbags that weren’t enough to keep the water out.
“We came out this morning about seven and all of our hard work was gone,” Evans told CTV News.
Carolyn Blondie saw her rental unit completely flooded.
“It just started coming into the suite and then it just kept coming,” said Blondie. “There was no stopping it.”
Premier Christy Clark, the MLA for the Westside-Kelowna riding, is in Cache Creek today, a community also being hit hard by floods. She took to Twitter to reassure residents the situation is being monitored closely.
An evacuation order also remains in effect for two properties on Lakeshore Road due to a landslide. The landslide has crossed the road blocking access to several other properties at the south end of road.
Residents forced to leave their homes can contact Emergency Support Services at 250-517-8071. The ESS reception centre is open at the Salvation Army at 1480 Sutherland Avenue.
For up to date information on the situation, including a map and to sign up for e-updates, visit www.cordemergency.ca. Anyone noticing a potential problem or a flooding concern is asked to call the Kelowna Fire Department at 250-469-8801.