- Buyer of old Regal Ridge building hopes it becomes medical centrePosted 1 day ago
- Sockeye salmon recreational fishery opens Thursday, July 31Posted 2 days ago
- Bankruptcy could be used as tool to transfer Mount Baldy to new buyerPosted 2 days ago
- South Okanagan shuttle service ready to start picking up passengers soon for connection to Kelowna International AirportPosted 2 days ago
- Federal Conservatives pick Neufeld, Liberals nominate DenesiukPosted 2 days ago
- Rain provided lull, but higher fire risk returningPosted 2 days ago
- Mount Baldy ski resort assets for sale in court-approved foreclosurePosted 1 week ago
- Osoyoos council plans comprehensive bylaw to address RV parksPosted 1 week ago
- Sewer study to shape improvements over next two decadesPosted 1 week ago
- Recreational Sockeye fishery opening on Osoyoos Lake expected at end of monthPosted 2 weeks ago
Osoyoos Lake reaches this year’s high level, but flood risk abating
Osoyoos Lake reached its highest level this year Sunday night, but barring any unexpected changes in weather, the risk of floods appears to be abating.
On Sunday night and into Monday, the lake’s level was measured at 913.11 feet above sea level, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
This level is still more than a foot lower than last year’s high of 914.19 feet, which forced owners of some low-lying properties to use sandbags.
Last week on May 20, the B.C. River Forecast Centre ended a High Streamflow Advisory affecting a number of South Interior river systems including the Okanagan and Similkameen rivers.
Two days later, on May 22, the River Forecast Centre released its May 15 Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin which showed the snow basin index in the Similkameen River basin remained at 181 per cent of normal, although the Okanagan-Kettle basin was only 113 per cent of normal.
“With the warmer weather in early May, the seasonal melt of the snowpack has begun,” the bulletin said. “In mid-elevation watersheds, particularly through the Okanagan, South Interior and Interior Plateau, the majority of snow has now melted, and ongoing flood risk from snowmelt alone is subsiding.”
A period of heavy rain, or higher temperatures leading to rapid snowmelt, could cause the risk to increase again.
Discharge on the Similkameen River near Nighthawk, WA began rising again heading into the weekend, but it hit another peak Saturday evening, reaching 16,700 cubic feet per second.
The flow of the Similkameen River has an impact on the level of Osoyoos Lake because a high volume of water on the Similkameen can force water on the Okanogan River to back up at the Zosel Dam in Oroville, slowing drainage from Osoyoos Lake.
This volume is still well below 2013 volumes, which peaked at 21,700 cubic feet per second.
By Monday at noon, the Similkameen’s volume had dropped again to 13,700 cubic feet per second as recorded by the USGS.