Flood Review

Re: Flood Review

Postby Glacier » Mar 9th, 2018, 10:19 am

March 1st snowpack factz:

  • The most above normal ever measured in BC at any station was Elk River on Vancouver Island (elevation 270m) in 1956 when it was 941% of normal. The normal is only 58mm of SWE (snow water equivalent) at this location.
  • By FAR the deepest snow depths ever measured in BC on March 1st were in 1999. The highest of all was ORCHID LAKE north of Vancouver in the Seymour drainage with a snow depth of 750cm and a SWE of 2960mm. That's 202% of the normal.
  • Snow depth is not the entire story because a big snow storm that hasn't settled yet might give you more depth, but less SWE. One place on the south coast had more SWE in 1999, PALISADE LAKE had 3150 mm SWE, which is 285% of normal.
  • The most above normal March 1st snow depth ever recorded in the Okanagan Valley was ISINTOK LAKE (elevation 1651m) in 1972 at 271% of normal (358mm of SWE).
  • The most below normal snowpack ever recorded in the Okanagan was MOUNT KOBAU (elevation 1817m) in 1977 at 24% of normal.
  • The highest snow pack ever recorded in the Okanagan was at SILVER STAR MOUNTAIN (1834m) in 1974 at 912 mm of SWE. The snow was 2.57m deep!
  • After 60 years of records they closed down the Silver Star station last year and replaced it with an automated station in a different location that gives a different result, so you can't compare them.
  • Big White (elevation 1672m) is not in the Okanagan technically, but you might be wondering about its biggest snowpack ever. That was also in 1974 with a total of 676 mm of SWE (168% of normal).
  • You might be wondering if there are any places in BC above 4000feet/1200m elevation that ever have no snow on the ground on March 1st. Yes there is. PAVILION near Lillooet is at 1209m, and only averages 58mm of SWE, and had zero mm on the ground in 1981, 1983, and 1988.
Last edited by Glacier on Mar 9th, 2018, 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Grandan » Mar 9th, 2018, 10:19 am

swamp1967 wrote:Anyone heard what pro-active plans the municipalities, the Province of BC, the Regional District putting are putting in place, besides adjusting the lake level? Ministry of Forests still hasn't followed up on the recommendations to their 2014 report ("LOWER MISSION CREEK HYDRAULIC CAPACITY STUDY KELOWNA, BC, March 2014) to remove gravel and fix critical parts of the Mission Creek dyke. I'm sure other creeks and rivers are being equally ignored.

There is a good reason why the province mandates the geodetic elevation that homes can be built at when adjacent to water bodies.
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Re: Flood Review

Postby WalterWhite » Mar 9th, 2018, 10:26 am

This is also usually about the time an annual statement is released by the Central Okanagan Basin Water Board that "despite higher than normal snowpack levels, drought conditions are expected and water conservation methods will start to be implemented in the coming weeks".
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Re: Flood Review

Postby swamp1967 » Mar 9th, 2018, 6:33 pm

Grandan wrote:
swamp1967 wrote:Anyone heard what pro-active plans the municipalities, the Province of BC, the Regional District putting are putting in place, besides adjusting the lake level? Ministry of Forests still hasn't followed up on the recommendations to their 2014 report ("LOWER MISSION CREEK HYDRAULIC CAPACITY STUDY KELOWNA, BC, March 2014) to remove gravel and fix critical parts of the Mission Creek dyke. I'm sure other creeks and rivers are being equally ignored.

There is a good reason why the province mandates the geodetic elevation that homes can be built at when adjacent to water bodies.


Do you have a reference for that? I'm not aware it applies here. Also, that would probably depend on flood maps, which are over 30 years old along Mission Creek.

20180309 - Mission Creek KLO Bridge (Resized).jpg


As you can see from the above photo, Ministry of Forests and Lands hasn't even bothered to remove the gravel under the bridge. So what are they waiting for? A debris jam to destroy the bridge? How many other places is this happening?
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Glacier » Mar 14th, 2018, 1:33 pm

I could have saved tax payers a million bucks (or whatever it cost). But, hey, they have money to burn to tell you that the sky is blue...

An independent review of last spring's historic flooding across the Southern Interior has concluded decisions made at the Penticton dam and throughout the Okanagan Lake Regulation System were appropriate and operationally sound.


https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#221084
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Urban Cowboy » Mar 14th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Glacier wrote:I could have saved tax payers a million bucks (or whatever it cost). But, hey, they have money to burn to tell you that the sky is blue...

An independent review of last spring's historic flooding across the Southern Interior has concluded decisions made at the Penticton dam and throughout the Okanagan Lake Regulation System were appropriate and operationally sound.


https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#221084


:up: Exactly.

So all the time and money spent on this review, simply confirmed what most of us were saying last year already, before the review.
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Re: Flood Review

Postby alanjh595 » Mar 14th, 2018, 1:45 pm

Old Techie wrote:So all the time and money spent on this review, simply confirmed what most of us were saying last year already, before the review.


Too much water, too fast?
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Grandan » Mar 14th, 2018, 1:54 pm

swamp1967 wrote:
swamp1967 wrote:Anyone heard what pro-active plans the municipalities, the Province of BC, the Regional District putting are putting in place, besides adjusting the lake level? Ministry of Forests still hasn't followed up on the recommendations to their 2014 report ("LOWER MISSION CREEK HYDRAULIC CAPACITY STUDY KELOWNA, BC, March 2014) to remove gravel and fix critical parts of the Mission Creek dyke. I'm sure other creeks and rivers are being equally ignored.

Grandan wrote:There is a good reason why the province mandates the geodetic elevation that homes can be built at when adjacent to water bodies.


Do you have a reference for that? I'm not aware it applies here. Also, that would probably depend on flood maps, which are over 30 years old along Mission Creek.

20180309 - Mission Creek KLO Bridge (Resized).jpg


As you can see from the above photo, Ministry of Forests and Lands hasn't even bothered to remove the gravel under the bridge. So what are they waiting for? A debris jam to destroy the bridge? How many other places is this happening?

There are endless studies but this one references the geodetic elevation for Okanagan Lake.
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/data_searc ... _river.pdf
According to this document the province has shifted the liability onto the municipal governments.
https://www.kelowna.ca/sites/files/1/do ... ek_faq.pdf
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Re: Flood Review

Postby swamp1967 » Mar 14th, 2018, 4:45 pm

For those that are interested, the BC Flood and Wildfire review is coming to Kelowna on March 28. Details on the link:
http://bcfloodfirereview.ca/engagement/

Anyone know if a copy of the report is available on-line that was mentioned in the article?
https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/221084/Flood-response-appropriate
Among, other things, the article mentions groundwater as contributing to the flooding as identified in the report. Duh! I mentioned groundwater as an issue on these forums long ago and pointed out that Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resources only ever seemed to mention snow pack and creek flows in identifying flood risk. I've never ever heard them mention anything in the media or elsewhere about groundwater until now. Yet in the spring of 2017, it was evident at least in my area, that large qaunities of ground water were on the move as I saw new springs flowing and old springs with more water than normal. The Ministry I believe vastly underestimated that variable and I would like to see what the report says.
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Urban Cowboy » Mar 14th, 2018, 10:04 pm

alanjh595 wrote:
Old Techie wrote:So all the time and money spent on this review, simply confirmed what most of us were saying last year already, before the review.


Too much water, too fast?


Well yes that, but even more important the fact that the amount of water being released at Penticton was appropriate based on data and conditions at the time.
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Re: Flood Review

Postby andrea-lake » Mar 18th, 2018, 5:16 pm

This is not the time for complacency. Please see comments under "Monitoring the lake level to avoid flood". The public needs to keep regular watch to make sure they stay on course. Here's a link to the real-time Okanagan Lake Level:

https://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/report/rea ... ax=&y2Min=

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Re: Flood Review

Postby Urban Cowboy » Mar 18th, 2018, 9:10 pm

There's hardly any need for another thread talking about the same thing, albeit with a modified title.
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Frisk » Mar 25th, 2018, 12:38 pm

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Re: Flood Review

Postby andrea-lake » Mar 25th, 2018, 1:20 pm

The City of Kelowna has now joined the Regional District in warning of a potential flood:
https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#221928

This could easily be avoided by lowering the lake to a level of 1.22 cm by Mid-April. That was Mr. Reimer’s stated goal – to draw it down by 0.5 cm per day for 20 days when the lake was at 1.32 cm in early March. After the lake level rose to 1.35 cm from the heavy rainstorm on March 23rd, officials opened the gates at Penticton to increase the discharge slightly from 30 cubic millimetres per second (m3/s) to 37 m3/s. Unfortunately, that’s not enough and the lake level is not dropping sufficiently to reach the target of 1.22 cm by mid-April.

Chart of OK lake.PNG

There’s lots of room to increase the discharge at Penticton. During the flood last June, they were able to increase it at Penticton to over 75 m3/s ‎but right now it is only about 35 m3/s. We need preventive action taken before it’s too late.

Penticton Chart.PNG
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Re: Flood Review

Postby Frisk » Mar 27th, 2018, 12:46 am

I think the weather over the next month will give us a pretty clear idea of what kind of flooding we may be faced with come mid May. Worst case scenario would be a cooler April - mid May with high precipitation followed by a heat wave in late May and into June. Too much melting too quickly is the troublemaker.
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