Current lake level predictions are indicating Shuswap Lake is heading towards a level of 349.1 metres, with the peak expected to take place this coming weekend or into early next week.
Forecasted data from two different types of provincial modeling systems is currently suggesting Saturday, June 25 or Sunday, June 26 may see the highest water levels for the year in the Shuswap.
These forecasts always carry a degree of uncertainty as they can be affected by many factors including temperature, rainfall, and snow melt rates.
“These predictions are looking at some high numbers with localized flooding already taking place in a few areas of the Shuswap. There has been the need to close a few parks, for example. But the projections stop short of the severe flooding levels seen in 2012,” says Derek Sutherland, Director of the Shuswap’s Emergency Operations Centre, which is currently activated for the Flood Watch.
A predicted peak of 349.1 metres is comparable to 2018 water levels, when Shuswap Lake peaked at 349.141 metres. The Shuswap Emergency Program is continuing to urge residents of flood-prone properties to take action to protect their property. This includes sandbagging and moving valuables away from harm.
The Emergency Program remains active and has preparations in place should lake levels rise higher than predicted. This is particularly the case in the District of Sicamous where flooding of downtown areas takes place when the lake reaches the 349.2 metre mark. Additional sandbags, large-scale gabion baskets and a specialized Aqua Dam are available for deployment if needed.
Once again, citizens are asked to use extreme caution around both lakes and fast-flowing creeks and rivers. The water is very cold and currents are strong. In addition, boaters need to be aware that there can be debris hidden under the lake’s surface.
Boaters are also asked to be kind and respectful to those on shore by traveling slowly. Wave action from boat wakes can have a dramatic impact on flooded areas of shoreline, causing erosion and damage.