Thursday, June 1, 2017

Osoyoos Lake Rising - The Power of Mother Nature

Osoyoos Lake continues to rise, and all the water falling from the sky last night doesn't help. The Similkameen River joins the Okanagan River south of Oroville. When the Similkameen is particularly high, it can effectively block the flow of the Okanagan, and Osoyoos Lake gets water from both ends. There are reports of this happening recently.

June 1972 - you could toss a stick into the Similkameen at the confluence, and watch it head  back up the Okanagan.

One winter, a Lombardy poplar was taken down at the family home - dropped on the ice. I spent many hours cutting firewood and piling it on the beach. When I was ready to haul it to the cabin, the lake had risen and taken all the wood away. That summer in the boat, I could see that the waterfront homes down the lake had great bonfires, and piles of my wood!

I may go back to the old family home in the coming days and see where the water levels compare to 1972, and where I was told the 1948 mark was.

The Okanagan River Channel and flood control gates were designed in hopes of preventing another flood like 1948. The system works well most of the time, but Mother Nature will do as she pleases.

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