Residents of Merritt, British Columbia have been ordered to evacuate immediately and stay away indefinitely, due to disastrous flooding that submerged two bridges and knocked out the Canadian city’s wastewater treatment plant.
With floodwaters engulfing two of the city’s bridges across the Coldwater River and preventing access to a third, the city of Merritt announced on Monday that all residents must leave their homes for an indefinite period of time.
Some 7,000 residents were notified that the city’s wastewater treatment plant had “failed” and that “flushing toilets or running a faucet at this time will result in it backing up into your home.”
The flooding has rendered Merritt’s Wastewater Treatment Plant “inoperable for an indefinite period,”According to the Monday notice sent to residents. “Continued habitation of the community without sanitary services presents risk of mass sewage back-up and personal health risk.”
Friends and relatives from nearby areas have been invited to stay, and those who don’t have a home have been sent off to Kamloops or Kelowna. These cities are approximately five to eight hours by car from Merritt.
To serve the exodus, gas stations were ordered to stay open. Those without their own transportation have been requested to meet up in a central “muster point” where buses will take them to their temporary shelter.
Merritt has received the second evacuation warning in just three months. Based on the August 15 evacuation alert, they were advised that they should leave. “increasingly aggressive fire activity from the Lytton Creek fire.”The wildfire warning did not require that you leave the city.
Torrential rains have triggered mudslides across Canada’s western province this weekend, leaving as many as 150 people trapped along a stretch of highway along the Fraser River.
Linda Brown, Merritt Mayor, encouraged residents “offer help to your friends, families and neighbors, drive safely, and take care of yourselves.” However, the dispersal order for residents without friends or family in the area requires neighbors to alternate via house number between Kelowna and Kamloops, placing Merritt’s “neighbors”Some 9 hours from each other.
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