Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Home Covid-19 Crews still assessing damage in Merritt a week after devastating flood

Crews still assessing damage in Merritt a week after devastating flood

Dozens of volunteers were on the ground in Merritt on Sunday conducting a damage assessment of homes in the flood-ravaged community.

An estimated 7,000 residents were evacuated from the city, some due to flooding, and others because the city’s drinking and wastewater systems were rendered inoperable by the flood.

“The south of the city looks different from how you last saw it. Streets have been damaged. The Middlesborough Bridge has collapsed. The river has been re-routed. And unfortunately homes and vehicles have been destroyed,” Mayor Linda Brown said in a Saturday evening video update.

Read more:
B.C. floods: Merritt evacuees share frustration with emergency supports, communication

Volunteers worked as quickly as possible Saturday to assess the safety of homes according to a colour-coded system, she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Once the city has been deemed safe, residents of “green” coded homes will be granted access to their properties, while residents of “yellow” coded homes will get instructions on next steps.

“Those owners of ‘red’ properties will unfortunately likely remain evacuated for an extended period of time. When you come home, Merritt will not look how it did when you left,” she said.

Flood evacuees frustrated by delays

Flood evacuees frustrated by delays

Emergency planners with the city are working on a plan to rescind evacuation orders for parts of the city not directly hit by floodwaters, Brown said.

That can’t happen until the city’s water systems are brought back online.

Brown said crews were still working to remove debris from Merritt’s sewage pipes, as well as flushing and inspecting the drinking water system. Once that process is complete, drinking water will be tested, a process that takes at least 24 hours.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Water levels drop in Merritt, B.C. but evacuation likely to last a week or more, says city

She did not provide a timeline for those efforts, but said they remained on schedule.

The city has also set up a flood information line for evacuees, Brown said.

Earlier this week, some evacuees vented frustration with a lack of information and communication, and long delays in accessing emergency supports and funding.

On Saturday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth acknowledged those frustrations, and said the province was working to clear backlogs and expedite emergency support.

“For those who have been waiting, we will be reimbursing accommodation costs for those who are eligible,” he said. “The process for that reimbursement is being worked through right now.”

Merritt has been declared eligible for provincial disaster financial assistance. Residents can find more information on how to apply at the City of Merritt website.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Most Popular

Mary Turner Pattiz, Rock D.J. During FM’s Heyday, Dies at 76

She was known as “the Burner” for her seductive delivery, but off the air she was anything but a wild rock ’n’ roller. She...

Quebec dental hygienists give back to community with free dental care

Diane Marcin couldn’t believe it when she saw a flyer advertising a free dental cleaning Saturday – she said she had to check it...

Burglar takes the cake: Vancouver thief snatches goodies, and cleans store

A Vancouver cafe burglary was caught on video early Friday but it was not a typical break-in. The only thing stolen from the store? A...

Vancouver fundraisers held to support theatre and security for youth drag camps

The Carousel Theatre for Young People on Vancouver’s Granville Island is holding two fundraising events on Saturday. The two events will feature performances by the...