Flood damage closes Okanagan parks for up to 18 months

People hoping to enjoy certain Okanagan parks will have to wait until next year as crews continue to repair damage following widespread spring flooding.

Several regional parks remain closed for repairs, likely won't reopen until 2018

Widespread spring flooding in the Okanagan damaged bridges and pathways at Hardy Falls Regional Park. (Regional District of Central Okanagan)

While crews have been working hard to repair damage following widespread flooding in the Central Okanagan this past spring, several regional parks remain closed and likely will not reopen until 2018.

Heavy rain and rising lake and creek levels took a toll on several popular parks in the Kelowna area.

Four parks will remain closed until further notice: Hardy Falls Regional Park (after first bridge upstream including falls viewpoint), Mill Creek Regional Park, Fintry Community Park boat launch and Killiney Beach Community Park.

Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park and Glen Canyon Regional Park are now open with restricted capacity.

'We thank everyone for their patience'

The Regional District of Central Okanagan said it has been documenting the damage and working with the province on recovery operations in order to reopen parks as soon as possible.

Because of the complexity of the work, however, it is estimated complete repairs may between 12 and 18 months.

"We thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we work through the process to fund repairs and reopen these parks," said Bruce Smith, regional district spokesperson.

He said crews are working to get local parks "back to the shape they were in before the unprecedented flood waters severely damaged them."

There are 28 other regional parks in the area currently open to the public.

Regional officials estimate complete park repairs could take 12-18 months. (Regional District of Central Okanagan)