Osoyoos Lake falls overnight;
flooding continues elsewhere

Osoyoos Lake continued to recede overnight, but activity elsewhere suggests the spring freshet is not yet finished with the BC Interior.

The lake’s level was recorded at 915.53 feet around 6:30 this morning, the lowest the lake has sat since May 10. Overnight, it fell almost three inches.

The lake’s drop comes despite a release of water along the Okanagan River channel from Okianagan Lake, a process that was restarted May 19.

Nevertheless, local officials are still urging caution.

“The lake level is going down, but hot weather this week could increase the speed of the snow melt,” said Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff Sunday.

“I think we need to continue the efforts to protect property and know that this could be the pattern for a few weeks yet.”

The Similkameen River, which plays a key role in trapping water in Osoyoos Lake, has experienced a corresponding drop, its discharge reduced to about 18,000 cu. ft./second and its gauge height falling to 12.08 feet — a full two feet below what is considered to be its flood level.

Nevertheless, four properties six km west of Keremeos were ordered evacuated late Monday morning. Other properties throughout the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen — including almost 60 in the Town of Osoyoos — remain under evacuation order.

Meanwhile, communities situated on Okanagan Lake are preparing for their own spring flood event.

The lake early this morning was at is 342.5 metres, just under nine cm over the deemed full pool target. Overnight, the lake’s level increased three cm despite the channel opening at its south end.


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