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HWY CLOSED 5 COQUIHALLAU

UPDATE-

Open in both directions.

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UPDATE-

The highway is now closed in BOTH directions.

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Drive BC is reporting that Highway 5 is closed southbound between Merritt and Hope.

An accident has closed the highway between exit 200 and exit 195, about 15 km south of the Great Bear Snowshed.

The next expected update is 1:00 pm.

 

#BCHwy5 closed SB due to a vehicle incident south of Carolin Mine Road Exit. Assessment in progress. Consider using an alternate route. Details: https://t.co/k0PP3IoG9h pic.twitter.com/vE3a5TNddJ

— Drive BC (@DriveBC) November 12, 2019

 

More to come

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Lumber

On Friday, Tolko announced that the indefinite closure of its mill in Kelowna is becoming permanent. The closure will put approximately 170 forestry workers out of a job.

The Kelowna closure serves as another hit to the struggling forestry sector that has seen numerous closures and curtailments this year.

Before the most recent closure, MLA Jackie Tegart joined Q101 to discuss the issues.

“We have held the government to account concerning the lack of action and lack of support for forestry workers that find themselves unemployed,” said Tegart. “Where are the training dollars, where are the support systems for the people in such an important industry that are struggling. What are the future plans?”

“There seems to be a lack of action and lack of commitment from government to help those communities and those people that are hurting so badly,” added Tegart.

MP Dan Albas has routinely mentioned that companies aren't leaving forestry, just forestry in BC for more viable markets, like the US.

Locally Tolko left Merritt in 2016, while this year operations like Aspen Planers have been hit hard by curtailments to stay viable.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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CITYOFMERRITT

City Staff along with Mayor and Council are hoping that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the local first nation bands can serve as the groundwork for future projects.

One of those projects is a detox healing centre.

“A detox healing centre is one of those common themes that we need to look at,” said Mayor Linda Brown. “Addictions, whether it’s alcohol or other drugs is a problem in Merritt, and it has been for a number of years. We’d like to help these individuals out and at the same time get some mental health services here as well.”

Mayor Brown spoke to the conversations being had with various partners.

“We’re also talking with Ministry staff, and with mental health about the possibility of getting operating dollars for a detox healing centre in Merritt,” said Brown. “It’s still in its early stages but word is out there and we’re constantly calling the Ministries.”

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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city hall

The rezoning application for 1330 Pine Street will return to the Council Chambers this evening for a public hearing and third reading.

The proposal has been polarizing in the arena of public opinion with both supporters and those opposed voicing their thoughts. As of Friday afternoon, the City had received three letters in opposition.

The proposed zoning amendment is for the property currently zoned agricultural to be switched to low-density residential, allowing for a possible 18-unit development.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith spoke to development not being final.

“There’s a very good chance that what’s being proposed could change. For example, I think that there are two or three parcels that might not meet parcel coverage. So, either a variance would be required or there would be amendments to the plan,” said Smith.

“It’s not that staff doesn’t have those concerns, but they’re not so insurmountable that the zoning proposed is incorrect,” said Smith.

Following the public hearing this evening, the potential amendment will have a third reading.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 pm in the Chambers at City Hall.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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HWY FREEZING RAIN

Thanks to overnight precipitation, Yellowhead Road and Bridge is warning Merritt residents to be careful this morning on the roads and highways.

It will begin in the evening and will be changing from snow to rain at different times throughout Tuesday morning leaving high ice concerns with potential freezing rain if surface temperatures are below freezing.

Heaviest precipitation amounts will be early Tuesday morning around 6-7 am.

· Highway 5 North from Merritt to Lac Le Jeune – Snow will begin around 10-11 pm. Anticipated accumulations of 2-5cm throughout the night.
· Highway 97C – Okanogan Connector – Snow will begin around 10-11 pm. Anticipated accumulations of up to 4-6cm near the Summit.
· Highway 5 South Merritt to the Snow Shed Hill – Snow will begin around 10-11 pm and continue through the night with accumulations of up to 5cm.

The main concern is snow turning to freezing rain early Tuesday morning.

Precipitation will lighten up late-morning tomorrow, plow trucks will be out removing snow and restoring traction as well as putting out chemicals to help prevent icy conditions. When flashing lights are on, our trucks are in “Winter Work Mode” and require extra room to perform their necessary duties. Remember to never pass a plow truck on the right and road conditions in front of the plow truck will be worse than behind it.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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