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The Globe and Mail

Okanagan community under flooding threat after two dams breached

The Okanagan Valley as seen from Kelowna at midday in the British Columbia interior as a wildfire continues to burn on Terrace Mountain July 22, 2009.

Yvonne Berg/yvonne berg The Globe and Mail

Another evacuation alert has been issued for an Okanagan community, this time the Regal Ridge subdivision on Anarchist Mountain, just east of Osoyoos, B.C.

Residents of 11 homes have been told to be ready to leave on short notice.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen emergency services supervisor Dale Kronebusch says dam inspectors found five unapproved dams along a water reservoir, and two have breaches.

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Mr. Kronebusch says the dams are on private property and lack proper engineering to handle any overflow.

The latest alert is in addition to two still in effect in the South Okanagan as high water levels near Otter Lake flood dozens of basements in the community of Tulameen, north of Princeton.

Mr. Kronebusch also notes that Okanagan Lake is draining at full capacity and that could cause potential flooding in the Oliver area and anywhere close to the Okanagan River.

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