Canadian Forces arrive in Merritt ahead of potential flooding

The Canadian Armed Forces are working to reinforce flood defences in the City of Merritt.

Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Merritt on Sunday to help reinforce flood defences as the Coldwater River quickly rises.

“The military are an incredible force. We’ve had help from neighbouring local governments since this began, and with the incoming weather system it’s now appropriate to bring in the army to help shore up our flood defences,” Mayor Linda Brown said in a statement.

“Their work will help to ensure that we are as well-prepared as we can possibly be when the next pulse of streamflow hits us, which is currently expected to be this evening.”

Read more: Princeton prepares for next atmospheric river as Canadian Forces members fill thousands of sandbags

The B.C. River Forecast Centre observed a rise in the Coldwater River at the Brookmere gauge prompting evacuations throughout the city on Sunday.

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“Despite an incredible effort by City 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 prepared to do what is necessary to keep our citizens safe.”

Read more: Flood warning issued for Merritt, B.C. as military helps fortify defences

All residents under an evacuation order, south of Nicola Avenue in Merritt, were asked to leave the area by 3 p.m. Sunday. Day access to the city was also suspended.

Emergency crews were not conducting door-to-door notice as the area has been under an evacuation order since mid-November.

Residents who are on evacuation alert, north of Nicola Avenue, should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, authorities said. Residents are being encouraged to pack important documents and items before leaving.

West of Merritt, 56 properties near Highway 8 were ordered to evacuate Sunday, as more heavy rain is expected.

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Anger grows over Merritt evacuations – Nov 28, 2021

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