By Melanie Eksal
Special to OsoyoosToday
There is still no plan for a permanent fix to address flooding in the Sportsmens Bowl Road area north of Oliver.
Park Rill Creek, which used to flow alongside the road, flooded in the spring, prompting the evacuation of 33 properties. The creek has not yet been routed back into its natural bed and instead flows across private property.
Jon Wilson, recovery manager for theRegional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen’s emergency operations centre, said the long-term impact of last spring’s flooding on the creek and the area remain to be seen.
“The capacity in the creek system is different than what may have historically been there,” he explained.
The Regional District has lobbied the B.C. government since September for funding for long-term structures that will help mitigate a disaster after a year of heavy rainfall, but has so far come up empty-handed.
Emergency Management B.C. has provided funding to draw up a flood response assessment, which includes research by an engineer in the area for impact and risk management, and the hope is that the results will be ready by January 2019.
Emergency preparedness is expected to be a priority for the incoming Regional District board and Mr. Wilson commended the local government’s ongoing commitment to addressing the Park Rill watershed and flooding issues.
“The RDOS is actively sourcing grants, but they take a period of time. But for a more immediate need, that’s where they’ve been approaching the government,” he said.
Area C, which covers rural Oliver, remains under a state of local emergency due to higher groundwater levels that mean flooding is still a risk.