2017 Okanagan Lake Flooding

The Ministry of Forests attempts to withhold sufficient seasonal water for downstream properties via the flood-gates of Okanagan Lake Dam in Penticton. Such operations creates a known flood risk to upstream properties and they attempt to control this risk by use of an Inflow Prediction Program. "Inflow" is snow melt and rainfall = WEATHER. Everyone knows weather can be unpredictable and most Meteorologists agree that forecasts exceeding 4 days is mere fortune-telling. Kim Hyatt of DFO, co-wrote the Inflow Prediction Program being used by the Province to establish lake levels and the Ministry starts entering weather forecast data into it months in advance.

In 2017, weather data known to be suspect was used and resulted in an erroneous drought prediction. Eg: "10-day forecasts are often barely useable and certainly are not reliable". The Ministry then and acted upon their prediction as if it were written in stone and set the lake level almost 1/2 meter above normal. By the time the Ministry attempted to lower the lake level, it was too late.

The Ministry then blamed the flooding on "extreme weather" and claimed all damages due to flooding were an act of God. How can Shaun Reimer, the man in charge of operations, blame flooding on "extreme weather" when his job description is literally to PREDICT SAFE LAKE LEVELS USING WEATHER FORECAST DATA?  He knew weather can be unpredictable and accepted the results of ALL weather conditions by proceeding!

Acts of God exclusively result from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution. Considering the risks, no reasonable person would have relied upon data known to be suspect. Even if "extreme weather" is somehow considered a valid excuse, the Ministry deliberately raised the lake level prior to the flood.

 

The higher than normal lake level obviously exacerbated flood damages! 

 

As a matter of fact, if the flood-gates were removed, flood risk should be eliminated!

There are also simple alternatives to downstream supply that reduce/eliminate upstream flood risks yet the Ministry has refused to even look at alternates!

 


The Ministry alters the natural lake level to assist downstream property Owners and upstream property Owners are saddled with flood damage repair costs when the Ministry screws-up. Is this in any way “fair treatment”?