British Columbia

Highway 97 battered by Okanagan Lake waves near Peachland, B.C.

Heavy wave action has destroyed a section of retaining wall along Highway 97 in B.C.'s Interior as water in Okanagan Lake remains at near-record levels.

High water levels and strong wave action are eroding the concrete retaining wall, officials say

Winds have whipped up large waves on a dangerously full Okanagan Lake, destroying a section of retaining wall along Highway 97, south of Peachland, B.C. (Perry Grago)

Heavy wave action has destroyed a section of retaining wall along Highway 97 in B.C.'s Interior as water in Okanagan Lake remains at near-record levels.

Tom Wilson, with the regional district's emergency operations centre, said waves caused by strong winds have eroded both the shoreline and the retaining wall along a section of highway at the far south end of Peachland, near Antler Beach.

"It's a fairly old concrete retaining wall, and the rocks underneath it, moreso than the wall itself, are what gave way," Wilson said.

Damage to the retaining wall along Highway 97 has restricted traffic as Ministry of Transportation crews assess the situation. (Dave Gottwald)

Waves have washed debris up onto the road surface. 

Wilson said Ministry of Transportation crews are on scene controlling traffic and assessing the damage, causing delays for travellers.

Elsewhere in the Okanagan, a state of emergency has been declared and an evacuation order issued for 11 properties along Mill Road in Naramata, north of Penticton.

The Okanagan Regional District says Okanagan Lake has risen high enough to erode Mill Road, which is the only road access to the affected properties.

More information can be found on the regional district's website.

With files from Brady Strachan.

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