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Parker Cove residents evacuated due to flood risk on Westside

Okanagan Indian Band issued order Tuesday morning

Flooding has forced dozens of Parker Cove residents to evacuate.

Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) issued the order Tuesday, May 2 at 3 a.m. for Parkers Cove residents south of Falcon Avenue adjacent to Whiteman’s Creek and #161-195 Falcon Avenue including 54 and 55.

The order is “due to immediate danger to life safety caused by flooding of Whiteman’s Creek,” according to the band.

Falcon Road resident Bob Grant was watching the water flood down his street Tuesday morning. He said it’s the worst flooding he’s seen in the more than 20 years he’s lived there.

“We had a flood in 2017 but it didn’t come out to the road,” he said.

Grant said residents evacuated Tuesday morning but some of them have come back to sandbag around their properties. Some residents could be seen driving through the water and sandbagging around noon Tuesday.

“They’re not supposed to but they’re doing it,” Grant said.

So far Grant’s home is OK, but “it depends on what happens tonight,” he said, explaining he watched the water encroach further up the street in a matter of hours this morning.

OKIB continues to monitor the creek systems on reserve during the flooding. Crews are continuing to mitigate damage to infrastructure and homes in the effect areas.

“The flooding event we are experiencing currently can be described as a 200-year event given current water levels and flow in the Whiteman’s area,” the band said.

The watersheds continue to be monitored via helicopter by emergency management and climate resilience forestry personnel to gain greater situational awareness.

“OKIB will continue its 24-hour monitoring of creeks and effected areas on reserve and residents should be prepared to evacuate as this is a fast evolving event.”

Residents evacuated are advised to:

• Follow the travel route provided and register at: #8 Bonneau Road, New Horizons building.

• If you need transportation assistance from the area, advise the person providing this notice or call: 250-241-5809

• Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers.

• Close all windows and doors.

• Close gates (latch) but do not lock.

• Gather your family and, if you have room, take a neighbour or someone needing transportation. Do not use more vehicles then you have to.

• Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and keys) only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash.

• Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.

As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Whiteman’s Creek bridge is still open, however the OKIB says there may be periodic traffic interruptions while crews clear debris in the creek near the bridge to mitigate risk to the structure.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) is making sandbags available to affected residents.

“Isolated flooding events have occurred in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area near high flowing creeks, particularly in areas impacted by the White Rock Lake wildfire,” the RDCO said in a media release Tuesday. “We are closely monitoring electoral areas and have made sandbags available in anticipation of possible flooding.”

The RDCO says property owners are responsible for having an emergency plan and the tools and equipment needed to protect their properties from flooding.

Residents in the following areas are responsible for providing their own sand and can pick up sandbags at:

• Ellison Fire Department — Station 61 — 4411 Old Vernon Road

• Joe Rich Fire Rescue — Station 52 — 6550 Goudie Road

Self-serve sand and bags are available at:

• Joe Rich Fire Rescue — Station 51 — 11481 Highway 33

• North Westside Fire Rescue — Station 101 — Killiney Beach main hall, 514 Udell Road; and Station 102 — Westside Road hall, 7355 Westside Road North

• Wilson’s Landing Fire Department — 2396 Westside Road

Property owners are also encouraged to check ditches and driveway access culverts to ensure proper runoff. Residents can contact AIM Roads at 1-866-222-4204 with any concerns.

Further information will be issued today, or visit OKIB Facebook page or okib.ca for more information.

READ MORE: Flood risk drives Westside Road delays, lake debris

READ MORE: Crews rescue boat in distress on Okanagan Lake


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Jennifer Smith

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