Falkland has become an island amongst flooded fields.
The small community west of Vernon is prone to flooding every spring, but this year the water is rising ahead of schedule.
“It always does (floods) from Falkland to Westwold,” said Rene Talbot, Falkland director. “This year it’s starting a little earlier.”
High water usually plagues local fields towards the end of May, but the rise in the mercury has seen snowpacks melting faster than usual.
“It’s a little higher than normal for this time of year,” said Talbot of flooding that occurs in both Bolean Creek (west of Falkland) and Salmon River (east of Falkland). “In the last couple days, it has come up quite a fair bit.
“So far it hasn’t affected any homes, that I know of,” said Talbot, adding that sandbags are available at the firehall and in Silver Creek.
“There was one on Silver Nails where the basement flooded about a month ago with the water flowing down the mountain. It made a little detour into his basement.”
With more heat and rain in the forecast, Falkland residents are left wondering just how high the water will get, as it prepares for the 100th annual Falkland Stampede May 19-21.
“The next couple of weeks will be interesting,” said Talbot. “It’s definitely come up a lot in the last week or so.”
But he doesn’t anticipate anything like the one spring in the early ’90s.
“About 25 years ago the trailer park across from the Stampede grounds, they were underwater,” said Talbot, adding that Bolean Creek can rise overnight on warm days.
The North Okanagan region hasn’t broken any records so far for May, but temperatures have been above average. Sunday in particular in Vernon saw a high of 26.4 (the last record was 28.9 in 1992 for May 6).
The forecast is calling for a chance of showers and a possible thunderstorm with a high of 23 today. Tuesday’s shows a mix of sun and cloud with a high of 25. Showers are in the forecast Wednesday and Thursday, with highs of 19 and 18 respectively, before the sun returns Friday and it warms up to 27 for Saturday.
Mosquitos are another concerns, as the high water hits eggs (although they usually don’t produce until after the Stampede weekend).
“The last couple years it hasn’t been too bad,” said Talbot.
“About seven/eight years ago you wouldn’t get out of your car. People would pull in, get gas and jump back in their cars.”