BREAKING: Entire city of Merritt under evacuation order | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

BREAKING: Entire city of Merritt under evacuation order

The Coldwater River rose swiftly and began flooding Merritt on Nov. 15, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Brodie McDonald
Original Publication Date November 15, 2021 - 10:03 AM

The City of Merritt ordered all residents to evacuate on Monday morning due to flooding.

Heavy rainfall in the area has caused the Coldwater River to rise by roughly two metres since Sunday morning. Flood waters have inundated two bridges crossing the Coldwater River and blocked access to a third, and now residents are being told to stay with family and friends outside the community.

High flood waters have rendered the wastewater treatment plant inoperable, according to the city's website. Continued habitation of the community without sanitary services presents risk of mass sewage back-up and personal health risk, the city said.

“Merritt is and will remain strong," Mayor Linda Brown said in a media release issued today, Nov. 15. "At this time, we need everyone to proceed in a calm and orderly manner to safe locations in nearby cities.

"For your own safety, you must now leave Merritt, for the time being. Please, offer help to your friends, families, and neighbours, drive safely, and take care of yourselves. We will meet each other again, in our homes, where we belong.”

If needed, residents can access a city-organized bus at a muster point at Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. The arena is at 2075 Mamette Ave.

Merritt issued an evacuation order earlier today to all residents in the Collettville neighbourhood as Main Street and Voght Street flooded. The neighbourhood was told to remain on alert Sunday night, but by 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, it was heightened to an order within the 200-year flood plain area of the Coldwater River.

Evacuated residents are now being told to check in at an Emergency Support Services reception centres in Kamloops or Kelowna if they do not have friends or family to stay with.

All schools in District 58 are closed Monday, Nov. 15, due to the ongoing flooding conditions.

The City of Merritt will be providing updates on its website here and on social media here

Evacuees heading to Kamloops can check in at the ESS centre at 1655 Island Parkway at McArthur Island Park. In Kelowna, the reception centre is at 1480 Sutherland Avenue.

All residents are asked to register with Emergency Support Services here or by calling 1-800-585-9559.

— This story was updated at 10:51 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, with an evacuation order.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 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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