Prepare now for spring flood risk (freshet)

News Article


The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre (RDOS EOC) is reminding residents and property owners to begin preparing for spring freshet. Now is the time to take appropriate measures to protect your property and buildings from potential rising waters and drainage issues. Taking proactive measures and assessing property and buildings before freshet can help prevent or minimize potential damage.

As winter ends and warmer temperatures are forecast, spring melt may begin. Now is the time to start preparing if you live in vulnerable areas, on or near floodplains within the RDOS, or if you have previously experienced spring flooding. Please see the links below or contact the RDOS EOC for current information about freshet conditions throughout the region. If required, the Regional District will activate sandbag centres in high-risk areas. Sand and sandbag locations will be posted at

Emergency preparedness also includes establishing plans to ensure your family and pet’s needs are considered before an unexpected event occurs. Pre-planning will help your family cope with the stress of dealing with an Evacuation Alert of Order.

In British Columbia, property owners are responsible for taking the necessary steps on their property to protect their home and property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on broader flood response measures. Visit to learn more about flood response and the environment.

At this time, there is no risk of flooding or spring melt in the immediate forecast. Conditions can change quickly and this information is provided as a reminder to begin preparing for spring freshet. The B.C. Ministry of Forests has issued a Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin for March 1, 2023. The bulletin indicates the Similkameen Valley is 82% of normal snowfall, while the Okanagan Valley is 124% of normal. Please review the bulletin to learn more about the current snowpack and the spring flood risk (freshet).

For further information, please visit the RDOS EOC website or contact Sean Vaisler, RDOS Manager of Emergency Services.


Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen 


Sean Vaisler
RDOS Manager of Emergency Services

Erick Thompson

RDOS Communications



RDOS Communications
Toll Free 1-877-610-3737


 Definitions you should know

  • Flood Warning: River levels have exceeded bankfull or will exceed bankfull imminently, and flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers will result.
  • Flood Watch: River levels are rising and will approach or may exceed bankfull. Flooding of areas adjacent to affected rivers may occur.
  • High Streamflow Advisory: River levels are rising or expected to rise rapidly, but no major flooding is expected. Minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible.

Helpful links

 River Forecast Centre Flood Warnings and Advisories 2023 03 09

British Columbia River Forecast Centre website: Thursday, March 9, 2023 (10:00 am PST)