Okanagan Basin Water Board releases online flood-mapping tool

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has released an extremely powerful modelling tool that can show residents if their properties are under threat of flooding.

At a cost of $2.5 million, the Okanagan Flood Story Project has been three years in the making.

On Wednesday, the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) held an online launch for its new online tool.

It’s a product that will help prepare for, reduce the risk of and educate the public about flooding hazards.

“The potential for flooding in the Okanagan is expected to increase,” said Piotr Kuras, whose company, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, worked on the project.

At the heart of the project is ability to produce live-map modelling of possible flooding scenarios in the Okanagan Valley.

The Okanagan Flood Story Project started three years ago in 2017 following Okanagan Lake’s historic flooding.

Since then, OBWB has been flooded with flooding information.

“Because of this mapping project, we are much better prepared,” said Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the OBWB.

And while the Okanagan Flood Story Project is a big resource for professionals, it’s also  great for the public, thanks to a direct address search tool on the interactive maps.

“You can type in a street address and you can go straight to a property for each property and up pops information about how that property may be flooded and in a design event,” said Julie Van de Valk from Northwest Hydraulic Consultants.

“Even people who are not on the lake are going to be able look at this and figure out what level are they going to have to start putting sandbags around their house,” said Sue McKortoff, chair of the OBWB.

Click this link to visit the Okanagan Flood Story Project portal.

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