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High water levels but no flood warning yet for Similkameen Valley

The river still has a long way to approach 2021’s flood level
Flooding from Hayes Creek. A high streamflow advisory - not yet a flood watch or flood warning - has been issued for the Ashnola area including the Similkameen Valley. (Tulameen Fire Department Facebook)

The Similkameen Valley has been added to the many regions in the province looking at rising water levels.

The BC River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory for the Similkameen and Ashnola Rivers.

This is not a flood warning or a flood watch, like higher-level alerts which have been issued for neighbouring regions such as the Okanagan Valley.

READ MORE: FLOOD WATCH: 18 properties on evacuation alert in rural Grand Forks

According to the monitoring stations along the Similkameen River, the water level is still several metres below the flooding of 2021, and a quarter of the flow rate.

As of Wednesday, the water level at the monitoring station near Hedley had the water reaching up to about 3.1 metres, with a flow rate of about 260 cubic metres of water a second.

At the peak of the flooding in 2021, the water cleared 5.7 metres and more than 1,040 cubic metres of water a second was moving through the river.

However, despite the area only being on a high streamflow advisory, people should exercise caution near the river and be careful due to the fast-moving water and the possibility for the banks to have eroded or undercut.

In anticipation of potential future flooding, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has set up sandbagging locations in the Similkameen.

They are located at Kobau Park, Cawston;Keremeos Irrigation Pump Station, 1st Street and Highway 3A, Keremeos; Corner of 1st Street and Main Street, Olalla; Tulameen Fire Hall, Tulmeen; Coalmont Fire Hall, Coalmont; Hayes Creek Fire Hal and the Erris Fire Hall.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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