British Columbia

Okanagan Lake water level steadies, easing flood concerns in B.C.

After flooding forced hundreds from their homes, officials say water levels are steadying.

Officials say water levels are 'somewhat encouraging'

After record flooding forced hundreds from their homes in the Interior, officials say that water levels are steadying. (Maryse Zeidler/CBC)

Officials say flooding fears in the Interior are finally easing after record volumes of water rushed into rivers and lakes throughout the region this spring.

Dave Campbell of the River Forecast Centre says the inflow to Okanagan Lake in May was about 240 per cent of normal, and about 10 per cent higher than any other year the agency has records for.

Shaun Reimer, a regional water steward with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, says the lake has seen more than 100 million cubic metres of water flow every week for the past five weeks.

The high water levels, caused by a combination of rain and warm temperatures melting snow at high elevations, forced people from their homes and destroyed docks and other property along waterfronts.

Reimer says Okanagan Lake's water level has remained fairly steady in recent days and Kalamalka Lake's level has begin to decline, which he says is "somewhat encouraging" as long as there isn't significant rainfall in the area.

The Central Okanagan Regional District says Okanagan Lake was seven millimetres higher on Wednesday morning than it was the day before. It is still advising residents to be prepared for flooding. 

Localized flooding is also still a threat, and an Evacuation Alert was issued today by the District of Lake Country for three properties. They also advise that all previous evacuation alerts and orders remain in effect.