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Early morning accident knocking out power to rest stations, and work sites along the Coquihalla.

BC Hydro's Dag Sharman says they were alerted to the outages south of Merritt this morning, just before 2am.

He confirms the accident occurred at the Larsen Hill salt shed.

"It was a motor vehicle accident that destroyed one of our poles. So, we had to go in and replace the entire pole, which was in a difficult location.

It's not known yet if, or how bad the driver of the vehicle was injured.

Power was restored to all the buildings affected by 2pm.

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Charges laid in connection with fatal Coquihalla crash.
 
47-year-old Linda Tom was killed on Aug 30th, 2016, after her southbound Suzuki Swift was hit from behind by a commercial truck near the Helmer brake check.
 
The driver of the truck, Shiva Kartik Raman is now facing one count each of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
 
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Kamloops today.
 
According to RCMP, Tom was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the fatal crash.
 
Her daughter, apssenger in the car, also suffered undisclosed injuires.
 
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The Merritt area receiving a lot more snow than usual in December.
 
Environment Canada's Armel Castellau says 59 cm of snow was recorded in Merritt last month, which is almost three times the normal average.
 
"The La Nina phenomenon was a big part it. It kept things colder. Merritt saw more snow, and longer lasting snow, because of it. So, to keep it simple, more snow was able to fall because the temperatures stayed lower, not that there was a major increase in precipitation."
 
Typically, Castellau says the Nicola Valley sees an average of 22cm of snow every December.
 
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Tough to say yet whether the snowpack feeding into the Nicola Valley will lead to increased flooding again this spring.
 
Director Dave Campbell of the BC River Forecast Centre says snowpacks in most of the province are sitting at near normal levels, except for the Okanagan where they are above normal.
 
In the Merritt area, the measuring has yet to begin.
 
"A lot of the snow surveys we do aren't scheduled in January, so readings for the localized snowpack around the Nicola Valley haven't been taken, leaving a bit of a gap. In February readings are taken from a few more sites, and should give us a better idea what the Merritt area is in for."
 
With snowpacks in the Okanagan and Similkimeen areas sitting at 123%, and 141% respectively, Campbell says there is some early concern surrounding spring flooding in the Nicola Valley.
 
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BC Green Party to push hard for proportional representation in Fraser-Nicola.

The party is in the midst of setting up a riding association in the constituency.

Arthur Green, who represented the party in the riding in the 2017 provincial election, says doing so will allow the party to organize and campaign locally for the proportional representation referendum in November.

"It's needed because it means every vote counts. Whether or not the candidate you vote for is elected, the number of votes they received is registered. For example, following last year's election the BC Green Party would holding 17% of the seats in the Legislature, instead of the three we actually hold."

The Green Party plans to hold its first riding association organizational meeting Feb 10th, in Hope.

The referendum on proportional representation will be a mail-in ballot, and need the support of 50%, plus one, of those who vote to be successful.

 

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