Elevation building standards near lakefront should be increased: Summerland home builder

Elevation building standards near lakefront should be increased: Summerland home builder

Neighbours were helping neighbours on Wednesday in the new Summerland subdivision of Lighthouse Landing where power could be shut off for weeks.“Good luck, let me know if you need anything else,” said Craig Woollven as he provided an extension cable to his neighbour.The District of Summerland issued a local state of emergency on Tuesday in the Trout Creek area as rising ground water encroaches on electrical junction boxes.“That’s creating a public safety risk in that the ground water could become electrified through those connections,” said Kris Johnson, Director of Works and Utilities.The effected residents are taking it in stride.“We hooked up a genset last night and charged out IPads, charged our IPhones and carried on, made coffee this morning and enjoyed it,” said Woollven.. @SummerlandBC cuts power to Lighthouse Landing subdivision as high water threatens electrical connections #okanaganfloods pic.twitter.com/vrspgp2E1G Story continues below

— Shelby Thom (@Shelby_Thom) May 31, 2017Vern Johnson also powered up a generator after clearing out his fridge last night.“We have some friends in Penticton where we ran our freezer stuff up and then put it in their fridge,” he said.Both homeowners said they are spared from groundwater flooding as they built their homes above elevation building standards.“We built 8 inches above the 200 year high level so we’re good,” Woollven said.“We built the very bottom side of our crawl spaces two feet above that,” added Johnson.READ MORE:  Docks destroyed, public beaches closed in SummerlandBrian Moberg, who has been building homes in the Summerland area for the past 17 years, said elevation requirements for new home construction on the lakefront should be increased.“I think the standards, the houses should be lifted up higher.”He said it’s an arduous process but necessary to cope with rising water.“You basically have to bring your land level up with cobble or engineered rock or some sort of stone or you pour your foundations taller,” he said.Summerland doesn’t have a bylaw dictating building elevations along the lake as it’s a case by case basis, “those are set based on the geo-technical engineer hired by the person that is building the house,” Kris Johnson said.The Regional District does have such a bylaw which outgoing Emergency Services Supervisor Dale Kronebusch said should be reviewed.“This year is an extraordinary year, it’s probably about a one in 200 year flood, but the problem being is that we may see more of these and as we’ve seen through different cycles in global warming and changes in weather patterns,” he said.“We’re maybe going to start seeing more of this stuff so whether they should be increasing it, I think they should entertain it.”Okanagan Lake is expected to rise another seven to 10 centimetres before it reaches its peak.

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