UPDATE – Parker Cove residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday morning.
In a news release, Chief Byron Louis of the Okanagan Indian band states: “We would like to thank the concerted efforts of our neighbouring communities for mobilizing emergency services and resources which assisted us to ensure the safety of our community members.”
Residents of Parker Cove are being ordered to evacuate while crews remove log jams in a nearby creek.
Parker Cove is a small community on Okanagan Indian Band land across Okanagan Lake from Vernon.
Log jams have formed in Whiteman’s Creek, and Parker Cove has been identified as the “direct impact zone”.
The homes are being evacuated as a safety precaution in case something goes wrong while crews are working to remove the log jams.
It’s estimated 100 homes are under the evacuation order.
An Emergency Reception Centre is being set up at the Curling Rink on 39th avenue in Vernon.
Residents had no notice their evacuation was imminent.
Vernon Search and Rescue members were going door-to-door on Tuesday evening asking residents in the evacuation area to leave as soon as possible.
“It’s going very smoothly. People are cooperating. They are understanding what’s going on and they are moving away,” said search manager Jon Ottesen.
Resident Lorraine Ferguson was getting ready to leave just 15 minutes after officials knocked on her door and said she needed to evacuate.
Feeling stressed about the sudden departure, Ferguson was hoping crews would be able to remove the log jams without incident.
The cleanup of the log jams is expected to take place overnight. If the log jam removal goes well, residents may be able to return to their homes on Wednesday.
Residents of Parker Cove are being evacuated late Tuesday night. Contributed/ Global Okanagan
Residents of Parker Cove are being evacuated late Tuesday night.
Contributed/ Global Okanagan