Flood damage

A couple walks along the storm-ravaged Okanagan Lake waterfront in 2017.

With a nice stretch of hot weather finally on the way, officials are warning property owners to get ready for rising water levels as the snowpack begins melting in earnest.

Daytime highs are forecast to rise steadily over the latter half of the week before reaching 24 C on Saturday, according to Environment Canada.

“Since mid-March, temperatures have remained seasonable to slightly below normal through province, resulting in a slight delay in snow melt. An upcoming warm spell… will kick-start snow melt at low and mid elevations throughout the province,” the B.C. River Forecast Centre stated in its April 1 bulletin.

“The warm weather may create challenges for smaller creeks and lower elevation areas; however, the upcoming warm weather may be considered a positive for larger, higher elevation watersheds.”

As of April 1, the snowpack in the Okanagan basin was pegged at 109% of normal and at 112% of normal in the Similkameen, according to the centre.

“Taking proactive measures and assessing property and buildings for drainage issues before freshet begins is a proactive measure residents can take to help prevent or minimize potential damage,” the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen said in a separate press release this week.

“Now is the time to prepare if you live in vulnerable areas, on or near floodplains, or if you have experienced spring flooding previously.”