2023 Spring Freshet Update and Public Safety Reminders

Media Release

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) has an active Level 1 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to support residents and agencies throughout the ongoing freshet. Temperatures are forecasted to be unseasonably high over the weekend, which is expected to accelerate snowmelt into next week, so the RDNO is providing the following updates:

  • Silver Star Mountain has a remaining snowpack of approximately 900mm. When it melts, much of this water runs down through the BX Creek. The RDNO advises the public to avoid the BX Creek for the next week, if not longer, due to the risk of swift moving water and rapid rises in stream levels. The RDNO has proactively closed a portion of the BX Creek Trail near the BX Dog Park. There is no fencing between the park and the trail, so dog owners must be cautious as to not let their dogs in the creek.
  • People that live in areas that are prone to flooding are encouraged to remain vigilant and prepare or update their household emergency plan.

General Public Safety Guidance

  • People are advised to stay away from the edges of creeks, rivers, and streams. During periods of high flow, riverbanks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse.
  • The hot temperatures are likely to draw people to cool off in lakes, but please keep in mind that bodies of water are cool at this time of year and may pose a risk of hypothermia and cold-water shock to people when they are exposed to cold water for a prolonged time.
  • Additionally, hot temperatures can increase the risk of wildfire, so anyone with an open flame or campfire should exercise caution. Never leave a fire unattended, ensure you have the mandatory 8 litres of water or a hand tool nearby, and always fully extinguish your campfire before leaving the area.

Sand and Sandbag Stations

The RDNO has set up seven self-serve sand and sandbag stations throughout the North Okanagan.

Resources and more information