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BC Wildfire Service with a warning for those venturing into the back country in the Merritt area over the long weekend.

Information officer Brenna Ward says despite the flooding in the valley, conditions in the hills above are drying out fast.

Campfires and cooking stoves are still allowed, but the BC Wildfire Service wants to make sure they are always attended, and fully extinguished, to limit the risk of a fire starting this weekend."

The Fire Danger Rating in the Merritt Fire Zone currently sits at MODERATE.

Ward using the wildfire currently burning near Logan Lake as an example of the dangers of leaving a fire unattended, or not properly extinguished.


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City of Merritt issuing Evacuation Orders to 27 more residents.

Director of corporate services Sean Smith says flooding has lead to a sewage backup creating a health concern for residents living at 2325 and 2531 Garcia St. 

"We were aware of a ground water problem, but when you add sewage to the mix it's a different story. So, there is no overland flooding, but we want to make sure they are kept out of an unsanitary situation." 

Counting those evacuated today, almost 100 people in the City of Merritt have been evacuated because of flooding along the Nicola River floodplain in the last two weeks.

Residents evacuated today are asked to register at the EOC  located 1721 Coldwater Ave to receive acess emergency services.


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Levels at Nicola Lake close to peaking.

Flood safety engineer at the Nicola Lake Dam Sarah Simon says the rate of rise at the lake has decreased significantly.

"A little over a week ago it was 20cm a day. Then it went down to about 16cm, and in the last couple days it's dropped significantly. We only rose about one and a half centimetres yesterday."

Depending on the amount of precipitation that falls in the next 24-hours, Simon says outflows could be scaled back from 75 to 70 cubic metres per second, to ease pressure along the floodplain within the City of Merritt.

"It would be a large increase, but I won’t make that decision until tomorrow, after I can see how much of the rain we get that is forecasted."

Inflows to Nicola Lake were well above 100 cubic metres per second for most of last week, but as of yesterday sat at 80.

Roughly 70 people continue to be under an evacuation order within the City of Merritt due to flooding within the Nicola River.

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City of Merritt expecting Evacuation Orders and Alerts to stay in effect heading into the long weekend.

Director of corporate services Sean Smith says the city has been told that levels in Nicola Lake could peak in the coming days, but until outflows slow down the situation will remain status quo.

"Last we heard they were anticipating the levels would peak between May 17th and May 21st. Today is the 17th so we are at the front end of that, but I imagine it will depend on the amount of precipitation we see here in the next couple days."

As for Voght St, Smith says there are no plans currently to close it again between 1st Ave and Rotary Park. 

"We had an engineer come in and look at the road, and the concrete blocks. And, it was deemed safe for our crews to go in there and sandbag the area. There was some really great effort to get that reopened."
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TNRD rescinding final evacuation orders in Lower Nicola.

With the remaining three homes in the Guichon Creek Mobile Home Park now able to return, Emergency Operations Centre spokesperson Michelle Nordstrom says there are no more orders in place.

Nordstrom says 81 residents in Lower Nicola remain on Evacuation Alert.

"We're keeping an eye on all our areas. Right now, there isn't any one area that is worse off than anyone else, and we have seen conditions improve quite a bit in most places in recent days."

Nordstrom says 112 people from Lower Nicola registered with the emergency operations centre in Merritt after Guichon Creek began to spill its banks earlier this month.


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