Sunshine and blue skies are expected to keep clouds away, the Similkameen is starting to slow and Osoyoos Lake is slowly receding.

The favourable conditions are welcome news for a Sunday morning in the middle of a long weekend.

But no one is quite ready to say the worst of the flooding is over for the South Okanagan this season.

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

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

Harbour Key, Solana Court and Lakeshore Drive.

Osoyoos Lake’s level was at 916.09 at 7:30 this morning, down from a recent high of 916.32 around 9 p.m. May 18.

One valley over, the Similkameen River — which has a profound impact on the lake’s level — was also showing signs of returning to normal.

Its flow was a fast-walking 22,000 cu. ft./second at 6:30 this morning, down from 29,100 on May 17. The river’s depth has also dropped below flood level, sitting at 13.12 feet this morning.

At its peak May 11, the Similkameen was discharging more than 32,000 cu. ft./second and had a depth of 15.5 feet.

Hayne’s Point.

Meanwhile, following intermittent shows expected throughout much of today, the forecast is for hot, drying weather through much of next week, with sunny skies and highs each day approaching 30C.

Despite indications, water flow is starting a slow return to normal, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen’s Emergency Services team is also encouraging continued vigilance despite the trend to flood waters receding.

“The Regional District . . . is encouraging citizens to continue to be vigilant and prepared in the event that their properties and homes may be affected by flooding and ground water inundation,” it said in its latest release late Friday, noting, however, that “the Environment Canada and BC River Forecast Centre report was welcomed as most creeks, rivers and waterways were holding steady from [Thursday].”

Flood watchers continue to monitor the lake levels and efforts to fill sandbags are ongoing despite a growing stockpile of filled bags loaded on to pallets.

More than 50 properties remain under evacuation order with numerous others around the lake — in the Town and surrounding rural area — on evacuation alert.

 

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