The City of Kamloops will be working on further flood-protection measures over the next few days, this time at McArthur Island in North Kamloops and in the parking lot at Sandman Centre downtown. Similar to the sand-filled Hesco baskets barrier constructed at Riverside Park, the city will install the baskets this week between McArthur Island’s entrances on MacKenzie Avenue and 12th Street.
City utility services supervisor Joe Luison said construction will occur over the next three days. The ring road is currently closed to vehicular traffic and Luison said it will be closed to pedestrians for the next three days during construction, then reopened until a time when waters may reach a level that will make it unsafe for pedestrians to continue using the area.
In addition, a walking path along the slough to the east of the park will remain open during construction of the baskets, he said.
Meanwhile, the flood work continues after a busy weekend for city crews, which were watching the weather and responding to low-lying areas.
“The weekend went well,” he said. “We did, with that forecast, see a need for crews to be ready for response.”
Environment Canada had issued two special weather statements for the Kamloops area — warning of possible heavy rains and severe thunderstorms — but the worst of the front that came from Washington state steered east of the city and region.
Luison said crews attended low-lying areas prone to water retention, due to the landscape around them, and sucked up water with giant trucks designed for sewer flushing that also have the ability to act essentially as a large water vacuum.
Areas attended over the weekend included North Kamloops, along the river in Brocklehurst, a few locations on the South Shore and on Thompson Drive in Valleyview. Boat launches were closed on Friday and the city said it had no issues with people trying to deploy vessels. Luison reminded home owners to continue to take precautions.
“We just ask people along the rivers to take measures to protect their homes,” he said.
The city will close the parking lot behind Sandman Centre on June 3, due to installation of flood barriers. The city previously told KTW it would not protect the parking lot because the province would only pay to protect infrastructure. Luison said water levels are now reaching a point at which water is coming into the parking lot and could go into the park and cause damage to that infrastructure.
Anyone near the river’s edge should exercise extreme caution, as the water is very high and moving quickly. In addition, water banks may have eroded beneath the shoreline and could give way beneath.