For Immediate Release
May 19, 2017
Updated May 21, 2017 at 11:30 (Sand, sandbag locations added)
Due to extraordinarily high Okanagan Lake levels, the damage that watercraft wakes can cause to properties, and to protect anti-flood measures installed along the shore, the City of West Kelowna is closing its boat launches. A number of waterfront parks have also been closed; and, sand and sandbag locations have been restocked as part of the City of West Kelowna’s ongoing flood protection response.
Effective immediately, and until further notice, the boat launches at Gellatly Bay and in Casa Loma have been closed to recreational use. The City of West Kelowna will reopen the launches when lake levels have subsided and the threat of property damage from boat wakes has abated. Patrol officers will remain available on site to open the Gellatly launch for emergency and commercial uses and for residents who need to get their boats off the lake.
Until further notice, a number of West Kelowna parks will also remain closed due to the flood threat caused by steadily rising lake levels and to ensure the preservation of protective measures that have been installed along the shoreline. Closures are in effect at:
- Pritchard Park
- Pebbles Beach
- Waterfront portion of the Gellatly Beach access
- Marina Park
- Aberdeen Park
- Jennens Beach Access
The city has installed sandbag walls at a further 27 beach accesses. At these locations, visitors are asked to stay clear of the walls and keep to the upland side of them to prevent the protective barriers from being damaged or moved.
The public is reminded not to tamper with existing berms and bladder dams or remove sandbags that have already been installed to protect existing infrastructure and public properties.
Residents in West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation who do need sand and sandbags can get them free of charge, at the following locations:
- Added May 21: Gellatly Road at West Kelowna Yacht Club
- Added May 21: Whitworth Road at George Court (near Beechnut Beach access)
- Casa Loma; 2606 and 2714 Casa Loma Road
- 515 Highway 97 South (WFN Government Building), right of the main parking lot
- Green Bay; 1341 Green Bay Road, Osprey Park and at the Wiig Road cul-de-sac
- Pritchard; 1651 Pritchard Drive
- Hitchner/Jennens; 4081 Hitchner Road
- Across from the WFN Works and Utilities yard at the intersection of Cougar and Elk Roads (approximate address 3500 Red Cloud Way)
- Gellatly Bay; 2589 Whitworth Road near Pebble Beach Park
Residents are strongly encouraged to take proactive measures to protect their own properties as civic crews continue to focus on installing measures to protect essential public infrastructure. And those residents who have taken steps to protect their properties from flooding are reminded to leave measures in place and to keep all debris on beaches. Debris will cushion against waves and reduce erosion.