CHUTE LAKE (NEWS1130) – Good news for people living near Chute Lake, north of Penticton. The flood evacuation order has been lifted for 46 homes as water levels have started to ease.

High temperatures followed by heavy rains and snowmelt caused the the lake to rise over a cement structure that normally holds the water in the lake.

Dale Kronebusch, Emergency Services Supervisor with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, says the water then overflowed into a ditch, draining through four culverts that were underneath a forest service road. The culverts were working properly, but were overwhelmed, causing the water to rise even more.

Kronebusch says this was putting a lot of pressure on the service road, creating a cause for concern. If it did go out, he believes the water would flow down into homes.

Kronebusch says that’s when the Ministry of Forest and Natural Resources sent in workers to help control the water levels.

“We trenched the forest service road and controlled a little bit more water, so we could get a lot more water flowing through than what the culverts were doing. They [the culverts] were still doing their job, it’s just that they couldn’t keep up.”

“The workers relieved the head pressure of the lake and the lowered the lake down so they could dig a trench, allowing the water to flow straight through,” Kronebusch adds.

In Tulameen, near Princeton, there is still a concern as the lake remains three to four feet above normal.

“Lots of folks still have water in their crawlspaces and basements, which may or may not drain out. We now have to look at the clean-up process there.”

This area is under a voluntary evacuation alert and Kronebusch says two people decided to leave their homes and stay in Princeton.

Kronebusch is hoping Mother Nature will help them out and bring cooler, drier weather.

“If we end up with some really nice warm weather, it will kick the snow melting into play. And if we get some rain, it’s not going to help us.”