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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.