The Canadian Armed Forces has been deployed to the town of Merritt to help support flood defenses, amid new concerns about the rising Coldwater River.
“With the incoming weather system, it is now appropriate to bring in the Army to help strengthen our flood defenses,” Mayor Linda Brown said in a media release.
“Their work will help ensure that we are as well-prepared as we possibly can be when the next pulse of streamflow hits us, which is currently expected on the evening of Sunday, November 28.”
Earlier Thursday, the city suspended day access for evacuees living in a part of the city that was hit hard by the recent disaster.
Residents who made use of restricted access to parts of the city under an evacuation order south of Nicola Avenue were told they had to leave the community by 6 p.m. 15.00 due to a flood threat at the Coldwater River.
“The current trajectory of water levels indicates that flooding in Merritt is a possibility,” the city said in a media release.
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“Residents are encouraged to pick up their most important documents and objects today,” the city said Sunday.
The city said the decision was based on rising water observed about eight hours upstream on the Coldwater River.
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Crews continued to work to protect critical infrastructure, including the city’s wastewater treatment plant and dikes along Coldwater.
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“Despite incredible efforts by the city’s crews to reinforce and restore the banks of the Coldwater River, our community is still vulnerable to flooding,” Brown said.
“The river is rising and we are monitoring our riverbanks and are ready to do what is necessary to keep our citizens safe.”
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Meanwhile, residents of 56 properties near Highway 8 west of Merritt were ordered to evacuate their homes Sunday as more heavy rain hit southern British Columbia.
The Thompson Nicola Regional District issued the order for properties in the Petit Creek / Spius Creek area in the “I” constituency due to a flood risk for the Spius Creek Bridge.
The RCMP was on hand to conduct tactical evacuations, it said.
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