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

Car torched: $1,000 reward offered for return of stolen massage machine

Odette Baumgartner’s vehicle was stolen and then burned in Kelowna.

Dust advisory in affect for Kelowna

Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic

SNC-Lavalin maintaining WR Bennett Bridge amidst controversy in Ottawa

The engineering company designed and maintains the bridge between Kelowna and West Kelowna

Big White firefighters camp on roof to raise money

The eighth annual Rooftop Camp Out, hosted by the Big White Fire Department, starts Friday

World Water Day: Special challenge issued to youth to be climate conscious

Friday, March 22, the Okanagan Basin Water Board is issuing a special challenge

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Fundraiser for South Okanagan “supermom” who died suddenly

Friends described the 40-year-old Penticton woman as a supermom.

Vernon workshop explores anxiety in search of hope

Understanding Anxiety and Embracing Hope event open to registration

B.C. conservation officers talk bear awareness

How to stay safe this spring in bear country

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Most Read