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End to flood risk in BC's Southern Interior still a ways off, crews say

Last Updated May 23, 2017 at 11:32 am PDT

(Courtesy Alan Stanley with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Thousands of sandbags are in place throughout sections of the Southern Interior, which is now bracing for strong winds and more rain.

Environment Canada says warm temperatures are speeding up the snowmelt, which could lead to the swelling of raging rivers, while winds of up to 70 km/hr could whip up waves on lakes already nudging flood levels.

“We’ve got three different weather scenarios, and we’re hoping that we will miss all of them,” says Bruce Smith with the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre.

“We’re continuing to suggest to property owners along the lakefront on all the area lakes in the central Okanagan that the levels are going to continue rising, there’s more water coming in than going out, and this isn’t going to be resolved any time soon.”

The Okanagan Indian Band issued an evacuation alert last night for an area along the west side of Okanagan Lake, South of Vernon.

Emergency Management BC is asking anyone living in the area to develop a household emergency plan, and put together an emergency kit.

More information on how to prepare for flooding can be found on the province’s website.