Kamloops personnel sent to help Merritt recovery efforts, City of Kamloops says

City sends staff to Merritt

The City of Kamloops has sent staff members and equipment to Merritt in an effort to help recover infrastructure and utilities in the community which was devastated by rising flood waters last week.

According to a statement from the City of Kamloops, personnel will inspect structures for flood damage and assist the City of Merritt’s utilities staff in getting water and sewer systems operational.

The Coldwater River flooded its banks on Nov. 15, causing damage to residences and other buildings, including the city’s water treatment plant — causing a city-wide evacuation alert to be issued.

“Our hearts go out to our neighbours in Merritt during this devastating event,” Mayor Ken Christian said a statement.

“We want you to know we are here for you and with you, shoulder to shoulder, to get you back to your homes.”

The city said members from Kamloops Fire Rescue have participated in the BC Housing Rapid Damage Assessment program training and will be able to help inspectors assess Merritt properties directly impacted by flood waters.

According to the city, staff are also supporting Merritt’s Emergency Operations Centre, providing relief to staff and helping to plan for community recovery and resiliency.

The city said patience and understanding are appreciated from Kamloops residents as city staff help get Merritt back on its feet. Kamloops residents’ requests for service will be prioritized based on urgency and turn around times might be longer than normal.

Greg Lowis, the City of Merritt’s corporate services director, said the city will soon announce plans for a phased return for residents, which will begin Monday.

“The city will be divided up into sections, and later today, some people in areas that were not directly affected by flooding and where we have been able to restore critical drinking water and sewage infrastructure, we’ll find out when they will be able to come home,” Lowis said.

He said residents allowed to return will be living under a boil-water advisory, with more information to come from the city on Monday.

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