Flood watch abates
As the city of Kamloops begins dismantling its flood-protection system, boaters can return to some sections of the Thompson rivers.
RCMP lifted their watercraft ban on the North Thompson and the part of the South Thompson west of the river confluence toward Kamloops Lake.
The ban on the South Thompson from the confluence east to Lafarge — essentially, to Kamloops city limits — remains.
“We conducted a test in the morning and confirmed that neither our police boat nor the Kamloops Fire Rescue watercraft could get under the CN Trestle Bridge east of Pioneer Park,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned.
Other navigational concerns factored into the decision to keep the ban. Some of the marker bouys along the waterway are underwater and, Learned said, there is a concern some of the visible ones have shifted.
Heavy rains over the Canada Day long weekend pushed water levels back up in Shuswap Lake, and that latest pulse of water is still working its way through the Thompson system.
“Now, it’s just a matter of letting what’s in there get flushed through,” Learned said.
While watercraft can return to parts of the river, Learned cautioned boaters to take care over the weekend. Large amounts of debris remain in the water and have built up around pilings of city bridges.
Learned said RCMP don’t plan to run patrols on the closed section of the river — one of the city’s most popular boating areas — but said those who do head into the closed waters illegally can face fines, as well as insurance difficulties should they damage their boats or run into trouble while in the area.
The city opened its McArthur Island boat launch at 8 a.m. today (July 5), but will keep launches in Valleyview and Pioneer Park closed until the remainder of the rive ban is lifted.
The city is starting to unseal catch basins closed off to prevent backflow from the river. Gabion baskets installed on Shubert Drive and in Riverside Park will come down some time in the next two weeks.
Starting July 9, the city is offering sandbag pickup services.
Residents can place sandbags on the curb the next business day after their usual garbage collection, by 7 a.m. for pickup.