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The 1948 Flood

Flood of 1948 down Finlayson St to channel

The 1948 flood is receiving some attention these days, so it is probably worth reviewing. This first point that comes to mind is that the 1972 flood was actually higher - but not by much.

Listed below are 7 of the highest levels the lake has reached in flood season.

(Height recorded in metres)

1894 No Date 350.059

1972 June 14 349.660

1948 No Date 349.640

2012 June 27 349.588

1997 June 09 349.320

1999 June 15 349.218

2002 July 04 348.897

In 1948 we experienced a slow cool spring followed with record temperatures by the end of May and early June.

The lake rose rapidly, reaching a peak around mid June and dropped rapidly after that.

In a relatively short period during that time most Highway Bridges east & south of Sicamous were washed out. The approaches to the car ferry across Sicamous Narrows were flooded. Many points along the CPR main line were flooded as was the Okanagan branch line.

For 10 days no rail service was available. Gasoline was rationed for a time. Food supplies at our only general store were in short supply which resulted in special runs by a local tug boat to Salmon Arm for essential requirements. Peoples gardens were flooded and it was a common site to see fish swimming around red strawberries in the gardens. There was no local water system and fresh water became a problem. No bottled water in those days.

The water dropped almost as quickly as it rose and it then became a battle with clouds of mosquitos which hosted through mid August.

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