BC Storm: Military staging in Vernon, B.C. for flood response

Click to play video: 'Military staging in Vernon for flood response'
Military staging in Vernon for flood response
WATCH: More military personnel have been arriving in B.C. to help the province deal with the aftermath of last week's atmospheric river. Over 200 soldiers are now staging in Vernon as they await further instructions – Nov 22, 2021

On Sunday, more than 200 soldiers from Edmonton rolled into Vernon, B.C. with their heavy equipment, and more are on the way.

They are in British Columbia as one part of the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to the widespread flooding and landslides that have devastated the southwest part of the province.

“I know that myself and my whole team are really excited to be here [and] happy to help,” said Maj. Nathan Hevenor.

“This is amongst the top most important things that we could possibly do so everyone is really motivated and keen.”

For some of the soldiers, the flooding has hit close to home.

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“It feels great to be able to come and help the local community out here. I have family that is from around the Merritt area so it is good to be able to come out and give back to the community,” said Master Corporal Mitchell McKay of 408 tactical helicopter squadron.

While Vernon hasn’t flooded and is more than 100 kilometres from the major devastation in Princeton and Merritt, the Alberta military members are using the Vernon cadet camp as a staging area as they await further marching orders.

“This is a base we’ve used in the past when we were supporting fire or other operations so it is familiar to us and it is closer to the area that we are going to be working in,” said Hevenor.

“Right now, my higher headquarters is looking for jobs and working with the provincial resources and leaders to find those jobs for us to do.”

Other troops have already been deployed elsewhere in the province.

Click to play video: 'Princeton mayor calls for military help'
Princeton mayor calls for military help

But there are communities still hoping for military help.

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The mayor of Princeton said, on Monday, that he’s requested soldiers for manual labour as his community works frantically to clean up from extensive flooding before freezing temperatures make the situation worse.

Click to play video: 'Atmospheric river ranking system expected to be implemented January 2022'
Atmospheric river ranking system expected to be implemented January 2022

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