Merritt BC still waterless, treatment plant as town remains evacuated
The town of Merritt said it was using qualified inspectors to begin quickly assessing damage to properties directly affected by the flooding earlier this week.
The whole city remains on evacuation order and the timetable for the return of residents remains uncertain.
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The city said that following the assessment, the homes will be labeled as green, yellow or red.
Only those whose homes are labeled in green will be able to return to collect their belongings and begin remediation efforts.
Further instructions will come regarding houses labeled yellow and red.
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Teams are still carrying out inspections and tests on the drinking water system, and the city has said it hopes to pressurize parts of the system soon, in areas that have not been directly affected by the flooding.
It will also help plan the partial cancellation of the evacuation order for areas of the city not directly affected, once critical infrastructure is brought back online, the city said in the statement.
The sanitary lines are currently flushed to remove debris in the lines and allow return to the wastewater treatment plant.
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The city said it is also launching a call center for residents to help provide information and has been in contact with Emergency Management BC to provide additional support to evacuees.
“Our community has been devastated and everyone right now is going through grief and a lot of fear of not knowing what will come next,” Merritt Mayor Linda Brown said on Wednesday.
Brown said there were more than 575 homes in the area still underwater. The 7,000 residents were ordered to evacuate the town on Monday after flooding in the Coldwater River caused the town’s sewage treatment plant to fail altogether.
–With files from Kathy Michaels
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