West Kelowna requesting provincial review of floods

West Kelowna will be asking the province to conduct a full review of this spring's flood event.

Council unanimously agreed to make the request, which will ask for a review of all possible factors leading to the flooding and mitigation efforts.

Mayor Doug Findlater brought the motion forward at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I think there are lessons to be learned from what happened this year, and that was a weather phenomenon of a very late season snow pack, when it looked like we were headed into potential drought we suddenly got a pile of water coming down,” he said.

“But I think there are things that can be done if we’re taking the view of this as climate change matter where we can get better predictors in place.”

West Kelowna council is asking the review look into several areas, including the timing of the spring freshet in relation to the release of water from the Okanagan Lake system at various dams, the need for additional data collection stations related to weather, snowpack and streamflow, climate change impacts and freshet management, and the capacity of municipalities and first nations to respond to emergencies.

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton has already called for a public review into what happened and how it can be prevented in the future.