Downtown homeowners frustrated by Mill Creek flooding

Residents living alongside Mill Creek are still fuming about how the City of Kelowna handled the flooding occuring at homes along Ethel to Pandosy Streets.

Public Works has diverted the majority of the Mill Creek run-off to Mission Creek, but resident Lorne Dutka believes more could have been done to prevent his daughter's backyard from flooding.

"They know what's happening, just nobody apparently had it on their calendars to check it," says Dutka "There's no excuse for it because you never know when the waters coming. It happened overnight - where the water is right now - and by tomorrow morning the water could be over the beds again."

Mike Morell, at Kelowna Public Works, says numerous environmental restrictons are in place to prevent guards and dikes around the creek, and residents are reminded it's their reponsibility to flood-proof their properties.

He says that while there is automatic diversion of a portion of the increased flows to Mission Creek from Mill Creek, the flows will increase in Mill Creek with rain events and freshet which the city cannot prevent.

Public Works has crews monitoring the creeks and clearing blockages that cause localized flooding, but cannot prevent flooding that is only a result of increased flows.

The city is also taking the opportunity to remind people that they need to take steps to protect their own property such as sandbagging along the creek.

However, anyone intending to construct permanent protection, like dikes and walls in the creek, needs to get a ‘section 11 permit’ from the province for works in or around a stream.

Sandbags are available at city fire halls.