Jeannette MacIntosh, left, and Sue Taylor were among volunteers filling sandbags in Trout Creek on Monday. Sandbag dikes have been erected around many low-lying properties in the community, and tonight, a state of local emergency has been declared for the Trout Creek area.John Arendt/Summerland Review

Jeannette MacIntosh, left, and Sue Taylor were among volunteers filling sandbags in Trout Creek on Monday. Sandbag dikes have been erected around many low-lying properties in the community, and tonight, a state of local emergency has been declared for the Trout Creek area.John Arendt/Summerland Review

State of Local Emergency declared in Summerland for Trout Creek

Officials are concerned rising water could reach high enough to reach Summerland's electrical system

Summerland’s Mayor Peter Waterman has declared a State of Local Emergency for the Trout Creek area (east of Highway 97).

This declaration is required because of the effect of the rising ground water on Summerland’s electrical system. In some isolated areas, water has now reached elevations high enough to submerge the electrical connections in underground vaults and junction boxes.

Although the electrical cabling is rated to be submerged in water, the connections are not. If water reaches the electrical cabling at these connection points, there is a risk for the water in these structures to become electrified. This groundwater extends to the surface where contact could be made, creating a public safety risk that must be mitigated.

Electricity will be turned off immediately to the noted properties. District staff is currently attending each property to discuss the situation with the affected residents.

The properties affected include 880 and 892 Johnson St.; 5827, 5849, 5853 and 5861 Dale Ave.; 894, 897, 898, 902, 908 and 906 Lighthouse Landing and 514 Wharf St.

New predictions from Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (FLNRO) suggest that Okanagan Lake water levels will continue to increase another 10 centimetres above today’s water level.

The updated high level is 343.21 metres and Summerland District staff is updating GIS mapping to determine implications of this increased level.

A Flood Communications Centre will be open at Summerland Municipal Hall beginning Wednesday morning and more information will be made available to residents and businesses affected. The phone contact number at the communications centre will be 250-486-3765.

The District of Summerland is also looking at possibilities for additional flood mitigation measures in the areas most prone to flooding. Residents are encouraged to continue to protect their homes and structures – keeping in mind that projections for high water are now at 10 cm higher than today’s water level.

Summerland Review