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BULLETIN # 14 Town of Osoyoos Information on Flooding Preparedness

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BULLETIN # 14 Town of Osoyoos Information on Flooding Preparedness

May 16, 2018
Town of Osoyoos
For Immediate Release
Public Information Meeting Follow Up
 
The Town of Osoyoos held a public information meeting on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 to update residents on the flooding event.
 
Representatives from various agencies including Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), Water Stewardship; International Joint Commission, Disaster Financial Assistance, along with Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and Town of Osoyoos attended the meeting.
 
The Town of Osoyoos and RDOS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting at the Sonora Community Centre.
 
Barry Romanko, CAO for the Town of Osoyoos provided and update on the Town’s infrastructure.  Currently, the Town’s sewer system is manageable however residents are asked to reduce sewer disposal from their residences by reducing amount of laundry, taking shorter showers, flush less, and above all do not pump water into the sewer system. 
 
Brian Symonds from the International Joint Commission provided a power point presentation showing how the levels and flows of the Similkameen River affect Osoyoos Lake.  Zosel Dam in Oroville has been wide open since March 28 when the lake level was 910.5.  When the flows of the Similkameen River increase it creates a backflow effect and it starts to back up into Osoyoos Lake.  There is no controls able to stop this from happening.  He estimates Osoyoos Lake could potentially rise to the 917 foot level or more before it peaks.
 
Shaun Reimer from Water Stewardship Branch at FLNRO, provided information regarding the flows from Okanagan River into Osoyoos Lake.  The water is being held back at Okanagan Lake to 40 cubic metres per second.  The last control area is at Okanagan Falls.  After that the river is being fed from tributaries between Okanagan Falls and Osoyoos which is causing the Okanagan River to run at 100 cubic metres per second at Oliver.
 
KEY INFORMATION
 
How do people determine who to speak to with various questions on flooding?
 
The RDOS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), is your primary source for the most up-to-date information for current Evacuation Alerts and Evacuation Orders, and for where Emergency Support Services are available.
 
EOC Phone: 250-490-4225   |   Website: www.rdos.bc.ca
 
Town of Osoyoos Phone: 250-495-6515   |   Website www.osoyoos.ca
 
The Town of Osoyoos and RDOS would like to thank the media for assisting in keeping residents informed of current situations as they develop.
 
Garbage Collection
 
The Town of Osoyoos had a special garbage collection for residents under Evacuation Order, on May, 16, 2018 at 10:00 am.   Properties under Evacuation Order should not have residents present, and therefore no additional garbage collection should be required for now. Residents who missed the special garbage collection can dispose of garbage for no fee upon proof of residential address.
 
Residents are permitted to dispose of debris collected from flood areas, at the landfill and the Town will waive the tipping fees.  This is for lake debris only, and not for flood materials from homes which will be charged the demolition rate.
 
Disaster Financial Assistance for Strata buildings
 
Strata Corporations can apply for DFA for common areas such as retaining walls and other outside infrastructure.  Individual unit owners must apply on their own for DFA for damages to their units.
 
Is there information on who might see flooding if Lake reaches 917 feet or higher?
 
The EOC is working on inundation plans for over 916 feet.  Staff are working on lists of properties that may be affected and will be contacting those property owners directly with Evacuation Alerts if needed. 
 
Is the water safe to drink?
 
Yes the Water is safe to drink in the Town of Osoyoos however those properties in Water Districts #8 and #9 remain on boil water advisories.
 
Other information

  • The highest level recorded on Osoyoos Lake was 918.84 ft (1894)
  •  During freshet, the Similkameen River is a “big driver” of water flows into Osoyoos Lake 
  • Weather and precipitation will control how high Okanagan Lake rises
  •  Lake levels are complex and dynamic and can be challenging to predict 
  • Every flooding event is reviewed by all levels of government and other agencies in an effort to mitigate damage to infrastructure, and to protect lives. 
  • Information about disposal of sandbags after the flooding event will be posted online www.rdos.bc.ca | www.osoyoos.ca  
  • Residents are asked not to dispose of sand or sandbags in any water bodies or on the shore

What is the best source of information?
RDOS EOC: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/active-eoc-information/
Please follow RDOS EOC on social media and watch your local media for updates:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmergMgtRDOS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RegionalDistrictOfOkanaganSimilkameen/
 
PREPARE NOW
“Don’t think it’s not going to happen to you.” –Don Dobson
 
RDOS FLOOD INFORMATION
http://www.rdosmaps.bc.ca/min_bylaws/NewAndEvents/Press_Releases/2018/03Mar/RDOS_Flood_Information.pdf
 
BEFORE A FLOOD

  • Know if you live in a flood-risk area.
  • Prepare emergency kits for your home and car.
  • Have an emergency plan that every household member knows.
  • Keep important documents in watertight containers.
  • Reach out to family and neighbours.
  • Ensure your car has a full tank of gas.
  • Have a plan in place in case you need to move pets and livestock.
  • Keep an eye on the River Forecast Centre for river level and snow pack information.
  • Watch for warning signs: increase in height and intensity of water flows, mudslides, debris in creeks, colour changes in water or leaning trees.

FLOOD-PROOF YOUR HOME

  • Seek necessary permission if you intend to work near a watercourse. Contact FrontCounterBC
  • Assess any local drainage issues or suspected blocked culverts near highways. Contact Ministry of Transportation or in an Emergency Argo Road Maintenance at 1-250-493-6969.
  • Build sandbag dikes — dig a trench one sack deep and two sacks wide, laying sacs in alternating crisscross directions. Information: Emergency Management BC Sandbagging General Information. Sandbagging for Flood Protection Sandbagging Techniques
  • Move appliances above anticipated flood level.
  • Secure and anchor propane tanks.
  • Stabilize your oil tank and weigh it down with sandbags.
  • Turn off utilities at main switches or valves and unplug electrical items. Information: FortisBC
  • Shut off the gas valve at the meter.
  • Move pesticides, weed killers, fertilizers and anything else that may contaminate water to a higher level.
  • Plug all basement sewer connections; plug toilet, sink and shower drains.

Mark Woods                                                     Janette Van Vianen
Emergency Operations Center                           Town of Osoyoos, Emergency Program Coordinator
RDOS EOC Ph: 250-490-4225
 
Media enquiries are to be directed to the RDOS EOC

Event date: 
Wednesday, 16 May, 2018
Archived
News item
While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this data, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the Town of Osoyoos.   Town of Osoyoos
Box 3010, 8707 Main Street
Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0
(TF) 1.888.495.6515
(T) 250.495.6515
(F) 250.495.2400
(E) info@osoyoos.ca

 

Mission Statement
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and future residents of Osoyoos, in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

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