Prepare now for spring freshet and potential flooding

News Article

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is reminding residents and property owners to prepare now for potential flooding. The River Forecast Centre Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin issued on May 1, 2022, indicates the flood risk has increased considerably due to colder April temperatures and delayed snowmelt. Continued cool weather is increasing the risk of flooding if a prolonged heatwave occurs over the next few weeks.

The current snowpack in the Similkameen region is near normal, however, due to significant erosion and possible changes to the river channel morphology, some rivers (including the Tulameen River) may be at increased risk of flooding at lower levels. Prolonged rain events may impact water levels in rivers and tributaries. According to the River Forecast Centre, the unprecedented and catastrophic flooding that occurred in November 2021, has made many rivers more vulnerable to freshet high flows. Please use caution around streams, lakes, and rivers where water levels may be rising or fast-moving. It’s also important to stay clear of eroded banks.

Property owners in low-lying areas may want to consider sandbagging their property. Sand and sandbags are available at no charge at sandbag centres, including fire halls in Tulameen and Coalmont. Sandbag locations are listed on the RDOS interactive sandbag map. Visit for tips and information and to view the RDOS sandbagging video.

Emergency preparedness also includes having a plan to ensure your family and pet’s needs are considered before an unexpected event occurs. Pre-planning, including having emergency kits with enough supplies for 72 hours and having fuel in generators, can help your family cope should conditions change suddenly.  

Sign up for emergency notifications
The RDOS has partnered with Voyent Alert! to provide routine and emergency notifications throughout the region. Sign up now to receive email, text or phone notifications, or download the Voyent Alert! app through the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve registered, you are automatically signed up for emergency notifications.

For further information, please visit the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) website at or contact RDOS Manager of Emergency Services Sean Vaisler.


Spencer Coyne, Vice-chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen


Sean Vaisler
RDOS Manager of Emergency Services

Erick Thompson

Andrea Rendall


RDOS Toll Free

RDOS Communications                 

RDOS Communications







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

20220512 sandbag map May2022