The latest on B.C. floods, recovery efforts on Nov. 29 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The latest on B.C. floods, recovery efforts on Nov. 29

Military personnel are assisting city crews and contractors to reinforce the banks of the Coldwater River in Merritt.
Image Credit: TWITTER/City of Merritt

As southwestern B.C. braces for a third of three storm surges this week, gas rationing will continue for drivers in the Lower Mainland.

Through to Dec. 14, drivers that are not fueling up designated essential vehicles are expected to limit themselves to 30 litres of fuel per visit to the pump.

The limit was expected to be lifted on Dec. 1, but it's been extended as the province waits for Trans Mountain to restart a critical pipeline that connects to a Lower Mainland refinery.

The incoming storm is expected to bring up to 100 millimetres of rain in some areas of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, just after Saturday's storm put more pressure on flood recovery efforts.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said last week that the third storm is expected to be the most severe.

READ MORE: Thompson-Okanagan may be spared worst of latest atmospheric river

The City of Merritt, still recovering from the Nov. 15 flood that impacted the city's water treatment facilities, rushed to reinforce dykes to hold back a rising Coldwater River.

With the help of Canadian Armed Forces, their efforts were successful, and residents from within the phase three evacuation zone are now permitted to return to their homes during the day.

The Coldwater River did not meet the Nov. 15 high, when the river was nearly 3.5 metres in depth. Around 8:30 p.m., Nov. 28, the river peaked at around 2.7 metres in Merritt, according to Environment Canada data.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has placed both the Coldwater River and the Tulameen River on flood warnings as of Nov. 28.

The Thompson Nicola Regional District and the City of Merritt have opened a resiliency centre to help both evacuees and residents who have returned home.

"The resiliency centre will help answer questions and provide resources for flood evacuees and residents returning home after flooding," a press release from the regional district reads.

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At the Merritt Civic Centre, it will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., where the Red Cross and Emergency Social Services, along with other healthcare and insurance providers to help residents navigate the resources they need.

Services will be available for residents from Merritt and surrounding communities impacted by the floods.

As road crews attempt to maintain connections between the Lower Mainland and the Interior, highways 3 and 99 have been reopened after a temporary closure this weekend.



The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed the routes ahead of the impending Nov. 27 storm, and the two routes have been deemed safe for essential travel again on Nov. 29.

Only vehicles under 14,500 kilograms, however, are permitted to use Highway 99.

Environment Canada has issued weather statements for various regions across the province that will see high levels of precipitation.

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The Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt is expected to get up to 50 mm of rain, while the Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass area could see up to 70 mm.

In the Shuswap region, snow levels are expected to rise up to 1800 metres on Tuesday night, then heavy rain will follow on Wednesday, which will increase the risk for flooding.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

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