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Merritt, B.C. resumes third phase of re-entry plan after weekend flood warnings

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Third atmospheric river set to arrive in B.C. on Tuesday will ‘pack a punch’' B.C. floods: Third atmospheric river set to arrive in B.C. on Tuesday will ‘pack a punch’
Armel Castellan, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said Tuesday the third atmospheric river is still on track to arrive Tuesday. He said it will pack "quite a punch" and conditions are expected to be similar to the storm that moved through over the weekend – Nov 29, 2021

After a weekend of flood warnings and new evacuation orders, the City of Merritt, B.C. will resume temporary access to some of its homes impacted by a natural disaster earlier this month.

Water levels in the Coldwater River have “stabilized,” the city said in a news update Monday, after two days of torrential downpour from the second of three atmospheric rivers forecasted by Environment Canada.

Those in the ‘Phase 3’ area — south of Nicola Avenue — can now return between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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

“The area remains under evacuation order and no resident should be in this area outside of the designated hours,” said an update on the city’s website.

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“This access will be reassessed daily as another atmospheric river is forecast to hit BC (sic).”

The third weather event is expected to strike between Tuesday and Wednesday and could bring between 50 and 100 millimetres of rain to communities in the southern part of the province.

Click to play video: 'New drone footage from Abbotsford B.C. highlights widespread flooding' New drone footage from Abbotsford B.C. highlights widespread flooding
New drone footage from Abbotsford B.C. highlights widespread flooding – Nov 29, 2021

The second of the three storms drenched B.C. over the weekend, wreaking more havoc in areas already devastated by the first weather event on Nov. 14 and 15.

The City of Hope declared a local state of emergency, while several properties in Abbotsford and Merritt were placed under new evacuation orders and alerts for flooding.

The safety concerns also prompted Merritt to suspend access to homes for evacuees south of Nicola Avenue.

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A map from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District shows the areas where new evacuation orders and alerts were issued in the southern B.C. Interior on Nov. 28, 2021, as the second of three atmospheric rivers drenched the province. Thompson-Nicola Regional District

Read more: ‘It did not have to be this way’: Growing anger over Merritt, B.C. evacuations

The Coldwater River’s levels peaked around 10 p.m. on Sunday, flowing at 177 cubic metres per second, but those levels have since receded.

The Canadian Armed Forces had arrived in Merritt earlier that day to help shore up its flood defences.

The City of Merritt and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District have now opened a ‘Resiliency Centre‘ to support flood-affected residents. It will operate between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Merritt Civic Centre.

BC Hydro has also sent crews to restore power to 137 homes in the city, and 111 between Merritt and the nearby Town of Brookmere, it said Monday.

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Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Merritt upgraded to a flood warning, again' B.C. floods: Merritt upgraded to a flood warning, again
B.C. floods: Merritt upgraded to a flood warning, again – Nov 29, 2021

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