The majority of flood response sandbags have been removed from public and private property in the Central Okanagan. Crews are completing the last of the pickups previously reported to the Emergency Operation Centre through the online sandbag app. Regional sandbag recovery operations will wrap up completely by August 25, with some areas like West Kelowna already finished.
Residents are now responsible for any final sandbag removal on their own property. The sandbag drop off locations throughout the region are now closed. Separated sand and sandbags can be returned to the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. Sand will be accepted free of charge and the empty sandbags charged regular tipping fees.
Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied into creeks, lakes, wetland, beaches or other watercourses as outlined in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.
If sandbags on private property have been missed by pickup crews, call the flood recovery line at 250-470-0674.
Care for sandbag removal
Residents dealing with sandbags on their own property should take precautions when working around stagnant water. Sandbags that have been sitting in water can contain mould. Residents should wear N95 respirators, nitrile gloves and rubber boots while working and should thoroughly wash hands and clothes after handling the bags.
Debris removal is ongoing. Four barge crews are currently working on Okanagan Lake. Removals will continue along the shoreline in Kelowna from the Mission area toward the W. R. Bennett Bridge. Additional crews will be working along north Westside Road as well as Peachland and West Kelowna.
The collection of unnatural debris from the shores of Okanagan Lake is expected to continue for several more weeks. This includes unclaimed broken docks, unregistered boats, garbage and barrels, along with large trees or stumps. Damaged docks and pilings still in place are the responsibility of the property owner.
Any debris that residents do not want removed should be clearly marked with “Do Not Remove”, so crews know to leave it behind. This may include sections of dock residents are hoping to repair. If possible, use fluorescent orange flagging tape or paint.
For more information
To sign up for e-updates go to www.cordemergency.ca or call the flood recovery phone line at 250-470-0674. The information line will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday until August 25.