The provincial government says increased water levels are expected to cause more flooding along Nicola Lake and river in the province’s south-central region.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says Nicola Lake is rising 24 centimetres a day, which is a rate of more than 40 per cent higher than the previous historical maximum.
Thunderstorms with isolated heavy rainfall are anticipated over the Nicola River watershed in the coming days and could further raise the level of the lake.
The ministry says lake levels could rise about 1.3 metres above the current elevation, likely causing water to go through the emergency spillway.
It’s anticipating flooding in Merritt and areas downstream along the Nicola River and it is urging property owners by the lake to move any equipment away from the water.
The ministry says any unstable river banks may be more prone to sudden collapse and that children and pets should be kept away from fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.
Meanwhile, Central Okanagan residents are being warned to keep all flood protection measures in place even though rivers are receding following weekend surges.
Emergency operations for the region says the forecast is calling for significant rain starting late Thursday.
It says those living in low-lying areas near creeks and lakes who don’t already have sandbags in place should also take steps to protect their properties.
Evacuation orders for more than 300 homes around Kelowna were lifted yesterday, but residents are being advised their properties may not be habitable or have full services, such as electricity and natural gas.
(With files from The Canadian Press)