Canada Day celebrations will go ahead as planned thanks to flood barriers erected along Riverside Park on Monday, which finalized City of Kamloops protection measures in anticipation of rising waters.
"We made sure that we identified all of the areas that we needed to protect along… the North Shore and South Shore," said Mayor Peter Milobar. "Riverside Park was the last piece that we went and looked at."
The rivers experienced a quick rise from Sunday to Monday and the B.C. River Forecasting Centre anticipated another 60-centimetre jump by the time the Thompson River crests at 344.4 metres on Wednesday or Thursday.
But the good news is, if the City gets through this rush of water, it may be out of danger, according to B.C. River Forecasting Centre.
"We are anticipating that improving conditions are on the horizon after we get through this pulse of water," said centre spokesman David Campbell.
Crews worked all day Sunday erecting portable sand-filled barriers along Schubert Drive as the North Thompson continued to rise, with the anticipated peak happening Tuesday.
Some residents in low-lying areas are preparing for the peaks.
Emily Stewart, who lives on Alder Street near Schubert has her most precious belongings already packed for quick escape.
Safely bagged are photos of her two daughters — three-year-old Harlequin and one-and-a-half-year-old Wren — from ultrasounds to present day, as well as those of her wedding to their dad Ben.
"I'm not going to let them get washed away," she said.
She also texted her downstairs neighbours to offer them a safe place to store their belongings.
The news that Riverside Park is safe is a relief for families who routinely use the park for events such as Music in the Park, sports camps, weddings and the typical use of playground facilities after school lets out this week.
"Riverside Park is the pride of Kamloops," said Cheryl Frith, who enjoys the park often with her young daughters Juliana and Charlotte. "Anything they can do to help preserve it great."
The protective structures run along a hard pack service road from Interior Savings Centre towards the concession area, than over a small patch of grass and westward along the river pathway on the sidewalk.
"There's no doubt about it, the park will still have reduced areas, but that is also dependant on how quickly does (the water) recede away," said Milobar. "We're talking six days from now it could come up and recede quickly or it could hover at that level."
Meanwhile, people who use the underpass between Furrer Road and Todd Hill Crescent on the other side of the Trans-Canada Highway will have to take the long way around for a while.
The City closed the Dallas pedestrian underpass Monday because of an unusual amount of water seepage from rising floodwaters.
Residents are asked to avoid the underpass and find a safe alternative route between Dallas Park and Dallas elementary school.
The closure is in effect until further notice.
Waters are expected to rise to 1999 levels, when the flooding threatened parts of the City before receding.
This time around, a different type of flood threat as well as improvements in infrastructure and technology will ensure better results, said Milobar.
He said 1999 "was a different flood event — it was going to be a big surge coming from snowmelt. This time it's a more predictable rise," he said. "And we have a good idea of what happened in '99 and where water went to. Mapping has come a long way in terms of where the elevations actually are in the City."
The province is covering the costs associated with flood protection, said Milobar.
Residents with questions about flooding or needing sandbags should call the City at 828-3461.