We could see the flood threat rise again in the Southern Interior, including the Central Okanagan.
Global News meteorologist Mark Madryga says that’s because of a rapid snow melt.
“Well, the rapid warming trend will begin Sunday in the southern interior. Today and tomorrow it’s more like low 20’s for highs, but mid-20’s in the valleys Sunday, mid-to-upper 20’s Monday and possibly low 30’s Tuesday, Wednesday of next week. That will create rapid snow melt in the mountains of the Southern Interior all of next week.”
A little more than a week ago, residents in the area were being told to evacuate, as the region braced for what was said to be historic flooding.
B.C. River Forecast spokesman Dave Campbell says in the Kelowna area, higher-elevation snowpacks have barely begun to melt.
He says at mid-elevations of 1400 to 1600 metres, half of the snow has melted, but at higher elevations, only about five per cent of the snowpack has disappeared, and the headwaters of Mission Creek are found at around 1700 metres.
Mission and Mill creeks flow through downtown Kelowna.
New flooding concerns have surfaced, as the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has declared a state of local emergency for the Nicola Valley-South.
Information Officer Mike Garrett says the Nicola River is rising to dangerous levels and the emergency declaration gives the district authority to carry out emergency work to protect four homes near a rapidly eroding river bank.
Garrett says there’s concern about the hot spell expected this weekend because it could accelerate the snow melt.
Those concerns are echoed across the Okanagan, where officials have been laying sandbags and portable dams to protect downtown Kelowna from flooding as Okanagan Lake continues to creep toward flood level.
With files from Gord Macdonald