Living in Vernon means living with the rhythm and flow of water as it moves through a vast system of lakes, creeks and streams in the North Okanagan and into the rest of the Okanagan Valley. Vernon itself is surrounded by three lakes (Okanagan, Kalamalka, and Swan), and has two notable creeks running through the developed community (BX Creek and Vernon Creek).
In BC, floods can happen any time of the year. As climate change continues to progress, the impacts and severity of such floods may increase. Therefore, the City of Vernon is taking steps to help our community become more flood resilient.
Flood resilience is living with the natural occurrence of flooding while also mitigating its impacts on people, property and public infrastructure through appropriate planning, prevention and preparedness measures.
Recently, the City of Vernon completed a detailed study that includes flood mapping, risk analysis and mitigation opportunities. The study helps us better understand the flood risk and potential impact to the community from flooding on Vernon Creek and BX Creek. Modelling for the study included a 1-in-200 year flood event along Vernon Creek and a flood of record from 1996 on BX Creek (which was larger than the 1-in-200 year event). Both models were adjusted for climate change.
To share this information with the public and help residents feel better informed and prepared for the possibility of flooding in our region, the City has developed an interactive Flood Story that provides detailed information on the flood mapping study.
The study recommends a number of flood-mitigation projects for the City to undertake. These projects include: creating a City Emergency Flood Response Plan; upgrading capital infrastructure such as creek crossings; improving operational procedures related to sediment management; and implementing policies and bylaws to ensure safe and responsible development within the floodplain areas.
These recommended projects will take time to complete, but as they are implemented, they will help further prepare the community for potential future flooding and move the City toward becoming a more flood resilient community.
We invite you to explore Vernon’s Flood Story and review frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the study and its results.