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 15, 2022, indicates the flood risk has increased considerably due to colder May temperatures and delayed snowmelt. Continued cool weather is increasing the risk for flooding if a prolonged heatwave occurs over the next few weeks.

According to the River Forecast Centre, the unprecedented and catastrophic flooding 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. The seven-day forecast from Environment and Climate Change Canada indicates there will be rain later in the coming days with warm temperatures within Princeton and the surrounding communities of Tulameen and Coalmont in Electoral Area H (Rural Princeton).

The River Forecast Centre indicates water levels could increase, and stronger river flows could lead to erosion of orphan dikes and river channels on the Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers. The RDOS Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is reminding residents and property owners in low-lying areas or adjacent to Tulameen River, Otter Creek, and Otter Lake, to be proactive and remove personal items that may be damaged by high ground water or flooding. You may also want to consider sandbagging your property if it is located in a low-lying area. Sandbag locations are also listed on the interactive sandbag map. Please 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 alerts and routine 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.

The EOC is monitoring conditions and will activate if required. If you notice flooding or other issues, please call the EOC at 250-490-4225 or the provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1.


Mark Pendergraft, 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.

 20220601 sandbag location map