As the snow melts and spring freshet begins to raise creek levels, the Regional District of North Okanagan is providing sand and sandbags for residents to protect their property against flooding. While there have only been minor instances of localized flooding reported, the RDNO encourages residents to take precautionary measures for flood prevention and property protection. The locations with sand and sandbags include:
– City of Enderby & Electoral Area F – Public Works yard located at 2308 McGowan Ave.
– Electoral Areas B & C – North gravel parking lot of BX Swan Lake Fire Department located at 5764 Silver Star Rd./East Dedecker Rd.
– Village of Lumby & Electoral Areas D and E – across from the arena on Shields Avenue.
Bring your shovels to fill your bags, and please respect social distancing rules if there is a group of people filling bags, and consider ways of building sandbag walls and keeping distancing between persons.
The Government of BC takes the lead on flooding events within the electoral areas, so they should be the first call when flooding takes place. In most cases, the RDNO’s role is to provide information on prevention and mitigation and to connect residents with the appropriate agencies.
If a local state of emergency is declared, then the RDNO will become more involved and assist the Province in response through the activation of an Emergency Operations Centre and the coordination of Emergency Social Services (ESS).
“Unlike a municipality, our organization is limited to providing information and coordination in assisting electoral area residents with emergency preparedness and mitigation rather than an on-the-ground response. The Province may ask us to assist in an emergency in the coordination of local resources,” said Mike Fox, General Manager of Community Services.
“We provide sand and sandbags through the province to local residents as well as resources for people to learn about how to protect their property against flooding, but it is within the Government of British Columbia’s mandate to direct RDNO in assess and coordination local flooding events,” said Fox.
The RDNO has an emergency management website with links to the appropriate agencies as well as resources about emergency prevention.
The agency to contact to report flooding can vary depending on the location. If flooding occurs over a road or involves ditches or culverts in electoral areas, AIM Construction should be the first call (1-866-222-4204); the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is an alternate channel to call. If the ditches and culverts are on private property, flood response is the land owner’s responsibility. Please be aware that the public cannot work in or change provincial bodies or water, rivers, creeks or streams without provincial approval.
If lake levels are high and near someone’s property, residents should contact the province at Report Emergency Flood Work – Province of British Columbia.
If water is free-flowing into a residence, the RDNO can provide the resident with information and direction on the next steps.
For information on flooding response inside a municipality, contact the municipality directly.