floods

The floods are over and people are thankful, for more than one reason

Recent floods in Kelowna B.C. are coming to a halt as weather improves and relief efforts have been truly outstanding.

Record highs

Kelowna has been hit with concerns around flooding for the last couple of month, difficult to miss from the media, particularly if you live in B.C.

The water levels of Okanagan Lake reached record highs, its highest levels since 1948.

But the response to concerns in the area have been prompt, wide and have the whole community and services of Kelowna working together.

Flood protection measures were bolstered all around the highway for instance from West Kelowna to Peachland to protect the route that runs along the shore of the lake.

Sandbagging has also been increased along the banks of Mission Creek and through the downtown area.

And as warnings heightened, there were emergency crews ready to install log booms around the eastern end of the William Bennett Bridge. Such forward planning and thinking was designed to stop erosion around the bridge.

The flooding was caused by unseasonably warm weather, which is accelerating snow melt. As well as Okanagan lake, a number of other rivers and waterways have been affected.

Community spirit

Okanagan Lake is now receding, which is easing flooding concerns. And officials have reported that there isn’t enough snow pack left for there to be any further concern about melt increasing water levels any more.

So, despite highs, flood levels should no longer be a cause of concern. And even though the weather will continue to be warm, mild winds will be tempering the unduly hot summer.

One thing flood concerns brought to light was the Kelowna community spirit. In several districts, stories of neighbourly support have really shown the best of residents.

For instance, in Summerland, one resident commented on how her neighbours helped her protect her home from the rising water levels. And that there were constant updates on social media about where people could find sand piles as well someone setting up a DIY bagging machine.

Such stories were echoed elsewhere with neighbours helping each other out. And in Mill Creek there was even a table of free snacks set up to keep people going.

The silver-lining to the ordeal of the flooding was that it brought the community closer together. Making them feel truly privileged to be living somewhere like Kelowna.