A local state of emergency was declared this morning for properties in the Willowbrook community north of Oliver.
The order, issued as the community faces a threat of flooding and possible damage to properties in the vicinity of Kearns Creek, was declared by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen around 9 a.m.
“When safe access or egress to residents is threatened, the RDOS can request a Local State of Emergency be imposed to provide additional resources in the event that an evacuation of residents or emergency works in the community becomes necessary,” the regional district said in a release.
Residents were advised late Monday that the flow in Kearns Creek, which meanders through the community, would begin to rise slowly overnight and persist over the next couple of days.
This was due to a ‘draw down’ order from the Province on the Kearns Creek dam near Willowbrook.
A six-inch rise was cautiously predicted.
The RDOS had previously delivered 2,000 sandbags and several loads of sand, but added to that Monday evening with an additional 24 yards of sand and 4,000 more sandbags.
“Last night, the community rallied together with 50 volunteers, alongside Willowbrook Fire Services, to fill and deploy sandbags,” said the RDOS. “This community effort was greatly assisted through mutual aid agreements sending personnel from nearby Keremeos and Oliver Fire Services.
On-site Incident Command to coordinate these efforts was provided by Willowbrook Fire Services.
Provincial agencies are reportedly on the ground assessing culverts and local dam infrastructure and working with the RDOS on this localized emergency response event.