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News - Recent History

August 04, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes, Shuswap Lake is still dropping at a rate of +/-3 in. per day. Forecast for the August long weekend projects warm, dry, and sunny days. We have noticed a few high-powered speedboats blasting through Mara Lake close to the shoreline. We understand that boaters find it necessary to show off their pride - but please do it at least further offshore. The turbidity levels are still too high for this kind of joy. Your hosts, the people of Sicamous, are still making their daily trips to the drinking water tanks. Show some respect.

August 03, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes, Shuswap Lake is still dropping at a rate of +/-3 in. per day. Forecast for the August long weekend projects warm, dry, and sunny days.
Turbidity Index for Mara Lake is still at 33, where smaller than 1 is good, larger than 5 equals poor water quality. Boil all water before using it for consumption - or better, use bottled water, which is still freely available at various places in Sicamous.
Speeding with powerboats through the Mara Lake does not make the water quality better. Please show some restraint and respect towards local lake residents. They are all depending on the Mara Lake for their water supply.

August 02, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes, Shuswap Lake is still dropping at a rate of 3 in. per day. Forecast for the August long weekend project warm, dry, and sunny days.
As of today, the existing "Do Not Consume" order for the Sicamous town water has been lifted and replaced by a "Boil Water" advisory. Details of this notice can be found here:

Commentary:

The August long weekend is the busiest time for the Shuswap Lake. Our boat count during the 2010 August long weekend clearly put some impressive numbers to this peak of the tourism season. Just one day before the begin of this holiday weekend, in a streak of pure luck, the drinking water quality has suddenly improved to a point where we can drink it again. Sure, we should boil the water, just as Interior Health suggested we should anyway all year. So, all is just fine - a sense of normality has finally returned to this region.
Is it plain luck or simply a convenient coincidence? We wanted to find out, so we looked at the daily Todays Turbidity Index published on the District of Sicamous web site. To our surprise, there are no more test results published. Values smaller than 1 are good, larger than 5 are bad. Here we go. And what is the today's index? Nothing... No comment, no reference. It is larger than 5, so boil water. Recently we had an index ranging from 20 to 50. Larger than 5 could be 6, could be 600, could be pure mudflow. Conveniently again, we don't know. We are simply supposed to trust the official statements - no questions asked, no data to verify or to make up our own minds.
If we had seen some numbers confirming the water improvement, we certainly would have been the first praising our extraordinary luck just before the peak of tourism. Our site visitors expect transparency and honesty. At this point we don't have the information to provide the fact-based information. We can simply state what we know - and what we don't know, regardless of the political or economical interests of this region. Our readers expect nothing less.

August 01, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes. Mandatory "Do Not Consume" order for the Sicamous area is still in place, added by a mandatory "Conserve Water" order.
Internet and TV has been restored in most of Sicamous. Further outages are not expected.
Shuswap Lake is still dropping at a rate of 3 to 3 1/2 in. per day. Houseboaters are advised to consider this level drop when beaching their boats. Pushing the boat too far onto the beach can get you stranded in the morning.

July 31, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes. Mandatory "Do Not Consume" order for the Sicamous area is still in place, added by a mandatory "Conserve Water" order.

Yesterday's accident in Sicamous took out 4 poles carrying the fiber-optic lines for Mascon and Telus, effectively cutting most of the Internet and TV off Sicamous and beyond. Crews are working hard to replace the cables and restore the service again, which could happen later this evening - at least for part of the town. Telus customers may have to wait a day or so longer for their service to be restored. Fiber-optic lines cannot be repaired - they have to be replaced in full length, which make repairs extremely costly and time consuming.
Please note that, until full service is established, most Sicamous businesses are limited to cash sale only. Debit / credit card sale is possible at Sicamous Askeys.

July 30, 2012: Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes. Mandatory "Do Not Consume" order for the Sicamous area is still in place, added by a mandatory "Conserve Water" order.

The severe thunderstorm warning for the Shuswap, issued by the Environment Canada Weather Office this morning, did not materialize. No further warnings are in the forecast.

A vehicle accident near the Intersection Hwy 1 / Hwy 97A around 1:30PM took out TV / Internet all over Sicamous. Now, 7 hours later, service is still down. Having a cellular data line as backup is increasingly becoming a fundamental necessity.

July 29, 2012: Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes. Shuswap Lake dropped 8.6 cm (~3 in.). Mandatory "Do Not Consume" order for the Sicamous area is still in place, added by a mandatory "Conserve Water" order.

Flood water along the Shuswap River has now almost completely drained back into the river, leaving only few isolated spots partially flooded. The agricultural runoff should have now passed through the Mara Lake and Shuswap Lake, therefore noticeably improving the water quality for the river and lakes. Significant shoreline erosion has been noticed on various locations along the Shuswap River. Shuswaplakewatch.com will follow up in this regard once the river levels have dropped.
Sugar Lake is quickly filling up towards the top of the dam. An increased controlled discharge can be expected within the next few days.

July 28, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
No major changes. Shuswap Lake dropped 8.4 cm (~3 in.). Mandatory "Do Not Consume" order for the Sicamous area is still in place, added by a mandatory "Conserve Water" order.

Yesterday's severe thunderstorm has been causing downed trees, power lines, hail, heavy rain showers, and lightning strikes throughout the region. There have been reports of flash floods and evacuations in the North Okanagan. [ Source: shuswapkayaks.com ]

July 24, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
The runoff of the rain water from the weekend has finally reached the major streams last night, causing the lake level drop to slow slightly to 5.1 cm (2 in.). Discharge for most rivers have now normalized again. Temperatures are expected to reach the low 30th again before the weekend.

July 23, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Yesterday's heavy rain showers did not affect the Shuswap Lake today, allowing the level to drop 8.9 cm (~3 1/2 in.). The level decrease should slow down tomorrow, as the rain runoff from outer areas of the watershed is expected to reach the lake. Potential rain showers are forecasted for tonight and tomorrow. Sunny weather with warmer temperatures is expected to return on Wednesday.

July 22, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake dropped 4.9 cm (~2 in.).
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING:
Environment Canada weather forecast has issued a severe weather warning for the Shuswap for this evening. Severe Thunderstorms are expected with wind gusts up to 80 km/h and potential heavy rain showers.

Sudden heavy rain showers onto a dry soil may cause a rapid surface flow in mountainous regions, significantly increasing the the water flow in creeks and small rivers.

July 21, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Yesterday's rain had some minor impact on all rivers and creeks feeding the Shuswap Lake. Shuswap River froze at its current level while all other river levels have slightly increased. Eagle River showed the largest level increase, emphasizing its elevated sensibility and rapid reaction towards rain showers in general. Shuswap Lake dropped 6.6 cm (~2 1/2 in.).
A significant level increase has been noted on Sugar Lake, accompanied by a decreased discharge. The gates at the dam have been closed again, giving the Shuswap Lake a break for its continued rapid decent.
Environment Canada's weather forecast shows potential rain showers every day beginning tomorrow until Friday next week, which may marginally affect the lake level decrease.
Please Note: Our water temperature gauge have been reporting too low temperature values during the past weeks. The current surface temperature of Shuswap Lake is 68F, manually recorded using a precision laser instrument. The gauge will be replaced shortly and all values for the affected period will be corrected.

July 20, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake dropped 10.2 cm (~3 1/2 in.). There have been some rain showers throughout the watershed, which could cause an increase in water flow in creeks and small rivers during the night. Major rivers and Shuswap Lake are not expected to be impacted.
There is some indication that our water temperature gauge may provide incorrect data. We are in the process of re-calibrating the gauge and correcting the most recent data if necessary.

July 19, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake dropped again 7.1 cm (~3 in.). Sugar Lake also continued to fall while its discharge has slightly decreased.
There is some indication that our water temperature gauge may provide incorrect data. We are in the process of re-calibrating the gauge and correcting the most recent data if necessary.

July 18, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake dropped 7.5 cm (3 in.). The Shuswap River is reaching a level where flooded areas can drain the water back into the river system. The forecasted thunderstorm did not happen. The local weather remains dry and hot.

July 17, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
The current downwards trend for the lake and rivers in the watershed remains unchanged. Shuswap Lake dropped again 7.7 cm (3 in.), bringing the lake below its 1999 peak level. There are thunderstorms with rain showers in the forecast for the night. No impact on river and lake levels are expected.

July 17, 2012:     Results of Water Samples

Shuswaplakewatch.com has been provided with test results from water samples taken on July 17 on Mara Lake and Shuswap Lake. All samples have been analyzed by a respected laboratory, widely recognized for testing fresh water and drinking water samples.

Test Results:
Sample 1: Mara Lake near the Sicamous water intake, close to the beach

Total coliform: 180 colonies/100 ml
Total fecal coliforms: 80 colonies/100 ml
Total E. Coli: 80 colonies/100 ml

Sample 2: Mara Lake near the Sicamous water intake, 300 m offshore

Total coliform: 2 colonies/100 ml
Total fecal coliforms: 0 colonies/100 ml
Total E. Coli: 0 colonies/100 ml

Sample 3: Shuswap Lake, shallow area at Sicamous public beach

Total coliform: 1380 colonies/100 ml
Total fecal coliforms: 120 colonies/100 ml
Total E. Coli: 50 colonies/100 ml

The acceptable limits for recreational water are:

Total coliform: 1000 colonies/100 ml
Total fecal coliforms: 200 colonies/100 ml
Total E. Coli: 200 colonies/100 ml

Source: BC Ministry of Health  

While the water quality for Mara Lake is well within the acceptable limits, the Sicamous Public Beach sample shows elevated levels for total coliform exceeding the acceptable limits as recommended by the BC Ministry of Health.
A detailed commentary in this regard will be published within the next few days.
For more information about the risks or the meaning of the test results please review the publications below: Shuswaplakewatch.com is still looking for test results from all over the Shuswap Lake. If you have test results you would like to share, please forward them to us. We will never identify our sources.

July 16, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake continued its 3 in. (7.6 cm) daily drop, bringing the lake level down to the 2002 peak level. The occasional heavy rain showers on Sunday had no noticeable impact on lake and rivers. Shuswap River showed a minor temporary increase for a short period of time before continuing the downwards trend.
The Sugar Lake level drop has slightly slowed down without significantly affecting the discharge at the outlet. The current level appears low enough to efficiently act as buffer for the high-elevation snowmelt. Neither Shuswap River, Mabel Lake, nor Shuswap Lake are expected to reverse their current downwards trend.
Shuswaplakewatch.com has been attending the public informational meeting on July 16th.
A summary of the discussed topics is available here.

July 15, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
With today's drop of 6.1 cm (2 1/2 in) Shuswap Lake has now fallen below the 249 m mark. Most of the Shuswap Lake flood water has drained back from residential areas, leaving only few smaller pockets of flooding behind. This trend is expected to continue without major interruptions.
The Shuswap River, which levels also have noticeable fallen during the recent week, is still high enough to keep wide areas near the shoreline flooded. Some improvement can be expected in the near future however it will be a long and slow process before the large overflown patches are drained back entirely.

July 14, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake continued its daily drop of nearly 3 in. (6.8 cm), which brings the lake rapidly near the 2002 peak level. Significant improvement is clearly visible on long flat stretches of the shoreline.
Shuswaplakewatch.com will be on Shuswap River again this Sunday to monitor the progress. Status update will be published tomorrow evening.

July 13, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake levels fell 7.8 cm (3 in.) again. This is the first significant drop since this year's peak and surely will bring some noticeable relieve for properties along the shoreline. We should see similar daily level drops for at least a few more days.
Most debris has been washed onto beaches and becomes trapped by the rapidly falling levels.

July 12, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake dropped 5.9 cm (2 1/2 in.), slowly bringing noticeable relief to properties along the shoreline. Some beaches are starting to reemerge from the high water. Debris flow has significantly decreased by being washed on the beaches and getting trapped by the rapidly falling levels. Sugar Lake has also fallen overnight by 14 cm, indicating an increased controlled outflow.
Shuswaplakewatch.com has received reports of streaks and clumps of algae close to beaches north of Sicamous. We will continue to monitor this issue and report any new development and expansion in this regard. If you are finding algae concentration on Mara Lake and Shuswap Lake, please send us a short message about locations and size. Pictures (overview and close-up) would be very helpful as well.

July 11, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake dropped another 2 in. (4.8 cm), continuing its steady downwards trend. The Shuswap River levels between Enderby and Mara Lake have been falling as well, while the discharge on Sugar Lake still is on the increase. Sugar Lake has risen about 2 feet during the past 2 days and may soon reach a level where release gates have to be opened again. Without having precise data on Mabel Lake it can be estimated that levels are now steady or slowly on the increase. The weather forecast predicts unchanged hot temperatures for the rest of this week, which surely will support the high-elevation snow melt.

July 10, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake has dropped another 3.7 cm (~1 1/2 in.) in the last 24 hrs. Most contributing streams and rivers continued their downwards trend slowly but steady. Shuswap River is still very high, keeping wide areas along the river banks flooded.
Sugar Lake is now raising rapidly while the lake discharge has increased as well. This is a clear sign of the ongoing snowmelt in high elevations, which could lead to some problems further downstream in the near future. Mabel Lake has dropped around a foot since its peak and will be able to buffer a portion of this continued runoff. However, Mabel Lake might rise again in the coming week, surely bad news for cabin owners near the shoreline. Unusual warm temperatures during nighttime allow a near constant water supply running from high elevations. If the current heat wave continues this could bring up Shuswap River near its peak levels again, leading to further flooding or re-flooding of already affected areas. At this point heavy thunderstorms and rain showers could easily worsen an already bad situation in the watershed.
Currently many private beaches are in the process of getting cleaned up from accumulated debris. The most popular form of removal appears to be pushing the debris back into the lake and have the lake current take care of the disposal. Besides the elevated risks for recreational boaters the newly floating debris field will accumulate somewhere else downstream and surely create some excitement in the process. Please be responsible, don't push debris back into the lake. Ask your community or district for help if you can't dispose the debris on your own.

July 09, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
Shuswap Lake continued to drop nearly 2 in. (4.8 cm) since yesterday, accumulating to 25.2 cm (nearly 1 foot) in total level decrease since the peak. Accelerated decrease can be expected as soon as flooded areas along the rivers have been drained back. Sugar Lake level and outflow have slightly increased, indicating the beginning of increased snow melt in higher elevations. A new rise in Shuswap Lake levels is not expected at this point.
We have received various complaints regarding boats speeding on Shuswap Lake this weekend close to shoreline. Boaters are urgently advised to act responsible and considerate. Wake still can cause damage to already weakened structures and beaches. There is also a significant quantity of debris in the lake, often partially submerged, which can damage to your boat or cause serious accidents. Shuswap Kayaks also independently reported on this issue. Houseboaters are reminded to consider falling lake levels when beaching the boat. With the current level drop rate you can find yourself stranded in the morning.
Kamloops News had a report published this morning regarding water safety and e-coli levels. According to this report, bacterial levels are 5 times higher than normal - but still within safe levels. To read more: Kamloops News - July 09, 2022.
A lot of standing flood water, which had submerged large areas of heavily fertilized farmland for 3+ weeks, is now draining back into rivers and Shuswap Lake while carrying potential chemical and biological contaminants along with it. Boiling your drinking water or continuing to use bottled water is advised. Check the announcements by Interior Health for latest news and updates. Links are listed below.

July 08, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Update
While the level decrease has slightly slowed down over the past day, a drop of 3.5 cm (~1.5 in.) is still within the normal range. Shuswap River and Eagle River levels have continued their slow downwards trend. There is a potential chance of thunderstorms and rain showers in this region tomorrow, most likely in early evening. Weather warnings have not been issued, therefore no heavy showers are expected at this point. Please keep in mind that thunderstorms often bring strong wind gusts which could lead to damaging wave action in the lake, especially along wide open shorelines.
We have noticed an increased debris flow in Mara Lake towards the Sicamous channel. Back-flowing water from flooded areas may pull stranded logs, trees, and other debris back into the river and lake current. This may continue for at least a few more days. Boaters should be cautious and watch out especially for partially submerged debris.

Shuswaplakewatch.com has visited the Shuswap River again this Sunday, foremost the area between Enderby and Mara Lake. While we were able to visually confirm a slight drop of the river level, there are still large areas of mostly farmland completely submerged by the high water. The fairly slow flow rate of Shuswap River suggests a strong backwash from the lake, which will keep levels elevated until a significant drop of the lake. Areas along the river shoreline may remain flooded for at least 1 or 2 more weeks. Do not consume water originating from within flooded areas. There is the strong likelihood that standing water for this long time period may contain bacterial and chemical contaminants. If in doubt, have a water sample of your private well tested or use bottled water.

July 07, 2012:     Lake Level Drop Accelerating
The Shuswap Lake level continued to fall another 4.9 cm (2 in.) during the past 24 hrs. All rivers in the watershed show lower levels and flow rates as well. Sugar Lake levels have also been falling during the past days, creating sufficient buffer storage for the upcoming high elevation snowmelt. The continuous dry and warm weather will allow the Shuswap Lake to quickly fall below the high water mark and gradually return some normality back to this region.

July 06, 2012:     Lake Level Falling More Rapidly
Shuswap Lake is finally dropping at near normal rate. A level decrease of 3.7 cm (almost 2.5 in) has been recorded for the past 24 hr period, the highest so far this year. The 2 week weather forecast predicts a dry and hot period, only to be interrupted by one day of showers around July 17th.
The continuous high temperatures will certainly accelerate the snow melt in higher elevations, with the majority of lake inflow originating from Shuswap River. While Sugar Lake and Mabel Lake are able to temporarily buffer the runoff, higher lake inflow should slow down the level drop rate in the coming 2 or 3 weeks. Shuswaplakewatch.com will be monitoring the water flow and discharge rates of all major rivers and the Sugar Lake dam and will report noticeable trend changes during this summer.

July 05, 2012:     Lake Level Falling Again
While most rivers and creeks in the watershed have been raising yesterday after the rain, a clear downwards trend has been recorded again this morning. Rain water from the outer regions of the watershed still has to arrive, but with minimal impact on the lake level. Shuswap Lake dropped 1.4 cm (1/2 in.) over the 24 hr. period. Higher drop rates are expected for the next few days. Water from flooded areas has begun to flow back into rivers and creeks, which should keep the lake level drop rate stable between 2 and 3 inches per day for at least a week. Without further rain the Shuswap Lake should quickly return to his usual high water mark.

July 05, 2012:     Highway 97A Closure
Highway 97A between Sicamous and Grindrod is closed in both directions because of potential flooding 4 km south of Sicamous.The creek has stopped flowing and there is concern there may be a blockage. You can detour via Hwy 97B over Salmon Arm. Estimated time of opening currently not available as an assessment in progress.
More details are not available at this point. We will follow up on that shortly and report any new developments.
Latest CHBC News Report
UPDATE July 05 - Noon:     HIGHWAY   97A   OPEN   FOR   TRAFFIC   AGAIN

July 04, 2012:     Lake level Rising after Rain
As expected the heavy rain yesterday well into the night has been leading to increased creeks and river flow, subsequently causing the Shuswap Lake to rise by 2.2 cm (1 in.). Rain water from the outer regions of the watershed is still feeding the lake system. However, we should see a clear drop of lake levels again within 2 or 3 days, as local weather forecasts indicate a longer period of nice and sunny weather.

July 03, 2012:     Heavy Rain Dumping More Water into the Watershed
Today's forecasted "Chance of Showers" turned into a heavy repeated downpour, dumping volumes of water into the already sensitive watershed. The Shuswap Lake has responded with a slowed down drop of 1.1 cm (1/2 in) over the past 24 hrs. All monitored rivers and creeks have been slowly raising again, which is expected to continue for some days as the saturated soil is draining the water. This will certainly impact the lake during the next few days, leading to a further slow-down in level decrease or, if the rain continues, might lead to a short-term level increase.
The River Forecast Centre has released a new update today to the previous flood warning for the Shuswap Lake area:
UPDATE - Provincial Flood Forecast - 3July2012 9:00AM

Note: Heavy rain water may become trapped inside your flood protection. It is suggested to monitor your surroundings frequently and have water pumps in working condition. If flood water can't get in, rain water can't get out...

July 02, 2012:     News Update
The Shuswap Lake level has now dropped 2.2 cm (almost 1 in.). Flood water in residential areas near the shoreline has started to flow back into the lake. The lake is expected to continue dropping at the current rate. With potential thunderstorms and showers tomorrow the lake level decrease could temporarily slow down without significantly affecting the overall downwards trend. Thunderstorms are most likely to bring some windy periods, which could result in wave actions on the Shuswap Lake shorelines.

July 01, 2012:     Highway 97A to Enderby Open for Traffic
Highway 97A between Sicamous and Enderby/Vernon has been re-opened for all traffic today. A temporary bridge over the new Sicamous Creek bed has been installed, allowing all traffic to pass the construction site. Some pictures have been taken and will be uploaded under "Sicamous - July 01" later tonight.
Shuswap Lake has risen 0.1 cm over the past 24 hrs, basically remaining unchanged at high level. All inflowing rivers continued to drop slightly, still leaving large areas especially along the Shuswap River flooded. It has been reported to this site that some areas in the watershed experienced multiple heavy rain showers yesterday, which would explain the stagnant high lake level.
A lot of massive debris, often parts of structures and trees, have been observed floating in Mara Lake. Extreme caution is advised when boating in the lake system - some debris may be partially submerged.
City water is still unsafe for consumption. Drinking water is provided for free at various places in Sicamous. You must bring a container for transportation.

June 30, 2012:     News Update
The Shuswap Lake fell another 2.4 cm in the past 24 hrs. All contributing rivers and streams continued their downwards trend, therefore dumping less water into the Shuswap Lake. The South Thompson River, the only outflowing stream of the lake system, has started to fall as well. Sporadic and mild rain showers appear to have had no impact on river and lake levels. The Shuswap Lake level is expected to drop increasingly faster over the next few days and weeks.
Shuswap Lake is still very close to its peak level. Wakes and windy periods remain a potential danger to shoreline properties.
Shuswap On Canvas has released a new extensive series of aerial photographs from June 26, covering the Shuswap River at Enderby to Sicamous on Mara Lake. The pictures demonstrate the full impact of the the high water level in amazing detail. The new link to those pictures can be found at the slideshow page on this site.

June 29, 2012:     News Update
Shuswap River and Eagle River continued to drop, slowly exposing previously flooded areas. The Shuswap Lake level decrease has slowed to 0.8 cm (1/3 in.) during the last 24 hours, which still keeps the level close to the peak. Warmer temperatures will bring some mild wind gusts over the next few days, which could cause damaging wave actions along the Shuswap Lake shoreline. No heavy rain is forecasted for the next 2 weeks, which will allow the lake to drain some of its high water.
Highway 97A remains closed until Monday or Tuesday. The drinking water warning is still in effect. Freshwater tanks are located in various places around Sicamous. The public boat launch at the end of Finlayson St. will be open during the weekend for supervised access. Watch out for partially submerged debris on the lake - and stay well clear from the shoreline.

June 28, 2012:     Shuswap Lake Level Peak Reached on June 27
As expected the Shuswap Lake has reached its peak for 2012 sometimes during the night. Levels are now dropping rapidly.
The highest measurement recorded on this site has been on June 27 at 349.588m. Since then the level has dropped 2.7 cm (over 1 in.) and is expected drop much faster for at least 1 - 2 weeks. Even at this rate it may take some time before affected properties are out of the flood danger zone and cleanup can begin. The upcoming long weekend will result in increased boat traffic on the lake and Shuswap River. While boaters are urged to show restraint and responsibility especially near the shoreline (law enforcement will be watching!), some wake action must be expected. Properties close to lake levels are advised to inspect and repair current flood protection before the weekend.
During the past 7 days shuswaplakewatch.com had a total of 293.600+ site visitors and still counting. We have answered or responded to 542 flood related phone calls and responded to 1,314 e-mail inquiries. We have taken over 800 flood related pictures from around the lake and major streams (and received hundreds more from our site visitors), covered the Sicamous 2-Miles Subdivision disaster, and provided various news outlets around Canada with images and situation updates. The time investment has been immense and costs have been exploding just to keep this site alive despite its massive bandwidth usage. Shuswaplakewatch.com is a completely privately owned and funded initiative of Bernhard Kramer to bring up-to-date lake conditions and warnings to our site visitors.
If you found the information on this web site and our free service helpful, please consider making a donation to this site in order to offset our cost for this extraordinary flood year. Any even smallest contribution is very much appreciated.

Please send your contribution to:
Bernhard Kramer
2-717 Kappel St.
Sicamous, BC     V0E 2V1
Attn.: shuswaplakewatch.com

or

Thank you.

June 27, 2012:     News Update
Both Shuswap River and Eagle River levels have significantly dropped. The Shuswap Lake level increase has also slowed down considerably. Favorable weather conditions during this week have prevented additional excessive water supply for all major river systems, while moderate temperatures are still too low for initiating a rapid snow melt in higher elevations.

It is now save to predict a 2012 lake level peak for tomorrow, most likely in the early afternoon.


Forecasted potential rain showers on Friday and Saturday will have no major impact on the downwards trend.
We are currently moving our picture show to a different server as additional storage space is needed beyond the limits of our current server. We expect the transfer to be completed by the end of today. Sorry for the inconvenience.

June 26, 2012:     News Update
While Shuswap River and Eagle River are still at a very high level the flow near the lake has significantly slowed down. This indicates that a decreasing supply of water is reaching the major stream and a beginning backwash from the Shuswap Lake into the river mouth. Today's weather conditions (mostly cloudy and dry) provided the basis for a lower lake level raise of 3.7 cm (1-1/2 in.). This trend is expected to continue and, should the weather remain mostly dry, the 2012 peak level will be reached within the next few days, probably not surpassing the 1972 flood mark.

June 25, 2012:     News Update
Shuswap Lake has risen another 6.8 cm (2.5 in.). Shuswap River and Eagle River are still at very high levels, similar to yesterday. Flooding has increased on both rivers with clear signs of widespread shoreline erosion. Debris flow seems to have lessen today but caution for boaters is still highly advised. Boaters on rivers and along the Shuswap Lake shoreline are urged to avoid any wakes, as this may cause significant damage to river banks and shoreline properties.
Shuswap Lake is likely to raise for a few more days. Various weather forecasts predict more rain showers in the watershed during this week, which could easily create additional flooding on creeks, rivers, and along the lake shoreline. Property owners are strongly advised to inspect and repair their flood protection.
Highway 97A between Sicamous and Enderby remains closed. All traffic is redirected over Salmon Arm. The Trans Canada Hwy 1 between Sicamous and Golden has been re-opened for traffic this afternoon.
Amazing Aerial Pictures of the Shuswap Lake 2012 Flood

Tim Thompson Shuswap On Canvas and Ellen Atkin Photography have been flying along the Shuswap Lake shoreline yesterday to document the 2012 flood damage. Over 635 amazing aerial photos have been taken from all over the lake, including the Sicamous disaster area. Shuswaplakewatch.com has been granted permission to publish the link to the complete picture gallery on our site. Our thanks goes out to both for their incredible work and support.

Shuswap On Canvas - Aerial Flood Pictures of June 24, Shuswap Lake

June 24, 2012:     News Update
While the thunderstorm and rain hasn't been extreme around Sicamous yesterday, other areas in the Shuswap Lake watershed had been pounded by continuous heavy downpours. The soil has been unable to absorb such huge quantities of water within that short amount of time, causing a rapid surface flow of rain water into creeks and rivers of the watershed. As a result many creeks became overloaded in the evening, washing out banks, threatening bridges, and causing water damage near residential areas. Shuswap River and Eagle River began to raise early in the morning, carrying lots of water and debris into the Shuswap Lake, which led to a rapid lake level raise of 11.1 cm (almost 4 inches) within the 24 hour window. Subsurface flow in the now saturated soil will continue to provide the water for a further raise of the lake. With more rain showers in the forecast this week, reaching or surpassing the 1972 flood level is now a strong possibility.
The District of Sicamous has declared a local State of Emergency for the 2-Miles Subdivision and Swansea Point. Most residents have been evacuated.
The drinking water for all of Sicamous is contaminated and should not be used. Drinking water is available at the rear parking lot of the new District of Sicamous building. Carrying containers are required.

Source: District of Sicamous
Shuswaplakewatch.com has been out on Shuswap River and Eagle River most of the day. Flooding has been noticed all along the rivers, in some areas and farmlands even severe. Agricultural flooding and runoff is most likely adding additional contaminants to the river system and the Shuswap Lake. Huge quantities of small and large debris has been noted in rivers and the lake. Boaters are well advised to be cautious.
Lots of pictures have been taken today. It will take some time to prepare and sort them out for the slideshow.
Thanks for all the flood-related pictures sent to this site. Your support is much appreciated. Our archive has been growing rapidly with pictures from all over the watershed. An extensive documentation will be created later this year.

June 23, 2012:     Sicamaus Creek Flash Flood
Severe rain showers in the afternoon caused a rapid raise in stream levels throughout the watershed, which in turn pushed the Shuswap Lake level up 3 inches. Shuswap Lake will now continue to raise for a few days - but most likely not as extreme as today. The 1997 peak level has now been surpassed.
On Saturday, June 23, 2012, around 6:30PM, raising water in the Sicamous Creek washed out the enbankment at the Sicamous 2-Miles devision and flooded through the Waterway Houseboat Vacations property. Highway 97A has been closed for all traffic. Evacuation order was issued for the Waterway property and all residential houses besides the Sicamous Creek. Houseboat renters will be relocated to the Sicamous Seniors Centre for the night. The Highway remains closed until further notice.
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