Even as conditions are improving in the Willowbrook community, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is encouraging property owners throughout the region to better prepare for possible flooding elsewhere.
“It seems to be stabilizing (in Willowbrook) right now,” said Information Officer Cameron Baugham. “The Kearns Creek Dam above Willowbrook has stabilized as well. Any risk of that dam having any breaches has been minimized.
“We’re still working with homeowners to protect their homes from rising waters in Kearns Creek. And we’re still dealing with localized flooding.”
The Regional District is continuing a local state of emergency in the community.
It also will temporarily chlorinate the Willowbrook water system and is maintaining a boil water notice.
“The groundwater level has risen over the past couple of days due to surface water flooding,” the Regional District said in a release. “This rise in the aquifer level may increase the risk of contamination of the groundwater from surface water.”
The Regional District is also concerned about additional flood events in other parts of the region, Mr. Baugham said.
“We are seeing areas that generally don’t get movement of water — after that big event on Thursday — that are getting movements of overland water,” he explained.
“With the fires, there is going to be more potential for floods coming down off of those burn areas. They haven’t stabilized since the fire — the regrowth doesn’t happen that quickly.”
Another rain event, he explained, could bring some “sloughing and earth moving up top that can move into water course and come down.”
“What we’re telling people to do is keep an eye on their basements,” he said. “Make sure you look at your property to see where overland water might come in.”
The Regional District is providing support to property owners with sand and sand bags at locations where damage or flooding has occurred. It has also provided a map of sand locations.
In Osoyoos, sand and sand bags are available opposite the Dairy Queen on Main St.