Contractor doing more culvert work on Sportsman’s Bowl Road today. Crews will also clear rocks adjacent to the road to allow the highways department to plow snow into the culvert south of the roadway during the winter months. This appears to be temporary work with no concrete plan yet on options:
1. Permanent fix with creek re-established to the north at the “foot” of the hillside
2. Permanent drain to the river without using Park Rill Creek
3. Leave everything as it is now and study the issue, again and….
Current study underway by Ecora – Professional Engineers and Environmental Consulting – Calab Pomeroy Penticton
Below file from Castanet
It’s been nearly seven months since a state of local emergency was first declared in the Sportsmens Bowl Road area north of Oliver due to spring flooding.
That declaration remains in place, and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen announced this week the area remains at risk of imminent flooding in the event of heavy rainfall.
Park Rill Creek is still running down a trench it cut in the now one-lane Sportsmens Bowl Road, but the RDOS says it has finally received funding to study the situation.
“The significant issue that exists is that there is still such a high saturation of water in the area,” RDOS community services coordinator Mark Woods said. “The water is still flowing where typically we would see some of the creeks in the area almost dry at this point.”
He explained that the RDOS has heard from residents concerned about how much Park Rill Creek swells in the rain, and said a risk of flood remains very real should a heavy downpour hit the watershed.
The regional district has managed to secure funds from Emergency Management B.C. to try to mitigate the immediate risk this week.
The study will also try to answer long-terms questions this winter — primarily if the creek should be moved back into its original bed where it flowed before last spring’s flooding, and more importantly, who is responsible.
“The Ministry of Highway’s mandate is to be responsible for the travelled road, but if the ditches and the streams that are associated with the roads are not being managed appropriately that becomes a problem for us from a flood response point of view,” Woods said.
The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations also typically has jurisdiction over waterways.
“Ultimately, which agency should be responsible for it?” Woods asked.
He said unless residents formally petition the RDOS to create a service area — much like the process used to create a fire department or diking authority — the district has no jurisdiction over the creek.
Residents of Sportsmens Bowl Road tell Castanet they are pushing the provincial government and lobbying their MLA to request Park Rill Creek be moved back into its original bed.
Many fear that should the situation not be resolved by the winter, snow will hamper a fix before the next spring melt.
Right now, Ministry of Transportation crews are focused on moving culverts under Sportsmens Bowl Road to restore a private driveway. There is no word on if the project to move the creek back into its original bed will ever be approved.
Photos: ODN all current