City of Merritt urges residents under evacuation order to leave due to potential flooding | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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City of Merritt urges residents under evacuation order to leave due to potential flooding

Flooding in Merritt, Nov. 15, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Heidi I. Koehler

The City of Merritt is urging residents to follow alerts and orders as the Coldwater River is expected to rise and flooding in Merritt is a possibility.

"Merritt continues to work with the B.C. River Forecast Center and has observed a rise in the Coldwater River at the Brookmere gauge. This provides an approximately a eight-hour lead time until there is a corresponding rise at Merritt," according to the city's press release.

“Despite an incredible effort by city crews to reinforce and restore the banks of the Coldwater River, our community is still vulnerable to flooding. The river is rising and we are monitoring our river banks and are prepared to do what is necessary to keep our citizens safe,” said Mayor Linda Brown, in the news release.

Crews are working to protect critical infrastructure, repair dykes, and reinforce banks along the Coldwater River.

Fortifications have been placed at the wastewater treatment plant and at sanitary manholes to limit infiltration of flood waters. Flood protection measures are also being placed at strategic locations and engineers continue to assess the river banks, according to the city.

All residents under an evacuation order, everywhere south of Nicola Avenue, is urged to leave by 3 p.m., today, Nov. 28, according to the city.

READ MORE: Next B.C. storm could be as intense as the first: Province

"Emergency response personnel will not be conducting a door-to-door notification, as this area has been under evacuation order since Nov. 15."

Day access will be suspended until further notice after 3 p.m. today due to rising river levels and weather risks over the coming days. Residents are encouraged to retrieve their most important documents and items today.

Those on evacuation alert, north of Nicola Avenue, should be prepared to leave on short notice. 

The city will be receiving help from the Canadian Armed Forces who are expected to arrive tonight, Nov 28. 

Military personnel will assist with flood defences, according to the city's press release.

READ MORE: Storm warnings continue for Interior highways as roads remain closed

To receive Evacuation Alerts and Orders citizens should register on Voyent Alert. People can register online or download the app on the Apple app store or Google play.

- This story was updated at 2:36 p.m. to announce the Canadian Armed Forces are arriving in Merritt.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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