More sandbags needed as flood forecast for Okanagan Lake worsens

Central Okanagan officials are warning residents that the lake could reach 343.5 metres by mid-June — half a meter higher than originally predicted.

Peak water level expected in mid-June now projected to be half a metre higher than original estimates

Lake Okanagan has already risen over the boat loading area and into the parking lot near downtown Kelowna. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

The rise of Okanagan Lake slowed marginally over the weekend, but officials are warning residents that the lake could reach 343.5 metres by mid-June — half a meter higher than originally predicted.

The Ministry of Forests estimates at least half of upper level snowpacks remain unmelted and high temperatures or heavy rain could send another gush of water down already flooding streams and rivers.

Okanagan Lake measured at 343.23 metres yesterday morning and the Central Okanagan Regional District is advising property owners living along the lake or its waterways to maintain flood protection and increase the height of sandbag dikes.

Meanwhile, in the southern Interior, Kamloops officials say levels of both the North and South Thompson rivers are expected to begin dropping this week, although the River Forecast Centre says the Thompson and Shuswap rivers remain on flood watch.