Emergency programs on flood watch

Summer-like temperatures are forcing rapid snow melt and that has local residents on alert.

Rising rivers: Several fields east of Falkland are turned into lakes as the level of Salmon River rises.

Summer-like temperatures are forcing rapid snow melt and that has local residents on alert.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre continues with a high stream flow advisory for the Okanagan as temperatures soar into the upper 20s over the weekend and were expected to reach 30 Monday.

“Now is the time to be ready,” said Brent Watson, with North Okanagan Emergency Management, which oversees emergency preparedness in the region.

“We don’t expect catastrophic flooding but it shouldn’t be a surprise either. It happens every year.”

The primary focus right now is along small and medium-sized creeks.

“They can flash up and flash down,” said Watson of water flow.

The Shuswap Emergency Program is also on alert in the Shuswap, says Shuswap Emergency Program co-ordinator Cliff Doherty.

“Longtime residents know which streams or rivers have acted up in the past due to heavy rainfall or intense melt runoff,” he said. “Property owners are responsible for ensuring their properties are prepared for such events.”

The Eagle River just reached normal flow Monday, says David Campbell, head forecaster with the BC River Forecast Centre.

The river is currently running at less than half of peak flow and is only one-third of flood flow.But, it did come up 50 cubic metres over the past five days.

Environment Canada called for a high of 28 yesterday in the Shuswap, but with temperatures dropping down to more normal levels for the next several days.

Today’s forecast is for a high of 20 C only.

Lower temperatures will be experienced at higher levels as well, slowing down the melt and reducing river levels.

Meanwhile, the level of Shuswap Lake was 346.9 Tuesday, a long way from flood levels.