Photo: Town of Merritt
The new bed of the Coldwater River, where Pine Street once passed. Wastewater treatment lagoon seen on the left of the image.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m.
Merritt officials are working with the provincial Department of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources on what the city has called the “new course” of the Coldwater River.
The flooded town says the river is now much closer to Merritt’s wastewater treatment infrastructure, causing operational issues.
The river now flows through what was once Pine Street.
An update posted to Merritt’s Facebook page on Friday said the city and the ministry are starting to investigate the possibility of redirecting the river to its original course, although no plan yet exists.
Merritt City Council released a statement to the community on Friday thanking volunteers and first responders for their efforts in recovering from the floods.
“Our team at the Emergency Operations Center have never stopped helping and assisting our residents, doing everything they can to ensure that the Merritonians can return home as soon as possible,” the said. city.
“Resilience is our ability to cope with unforeseen difficulties and challenges that lie ahead. This calamity and calamity which greatly affected our community also highlighted the resilience and strength of the Town of Merritt. “
with files from The Canadian Press
ORIGINAL 11:30 a.m.
Merritt city officials said a team of inspectors will soon begin assessing each property directly affected by this week’s flooding, which will bring residents closer to returning home.
The Town of Merritt employs a team of rapid damage assessment inspectors who will rate each property on a familiar scale – green, yellow and red.
“If you’re in the green, that’s good news,” Greg Lowis, the city’s director of business services and head of its emergency operations center, told Castanet.
“Sadly and tragically, for people whose homes are in yellow or red, this means there is a lot more work to be done.”
Lowis said the city is also starting to “compartmentalize” the community as it considers a partial lifting of the city-wide evacuation order that has been in place since Monday. He said workers will determine the state of infrastructure in different parts of the city – the main water supply system of them – and determine who can return first on this basis.
“We’re basically starting to compartmentalize the city,” he said.
“Large parts of Merritt were never threatened by flood water, but they were evacuated due to damage to the sewage treatment system. “
Lowis said it would mean turning on water in small sections of the city to check the condition of infrastructure.
“We hope to be able to depressurize part of the water system soon,” he said.
Dikes are also being repaired near the city’s wastewater treatment plant, and other critical infrastructure is still being assessed.
Lowis said the scale of the work is unprecedented for the community.
“It’s very big,” he said.
“This is without a doubt the largest project ever undertaken by the Town of Merritt. Everyone is very focused on doing what we can to make sure the people of Merritt can return home as soon as possible. “