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Water Today Title October 30, 2020

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Three outstanding evacuation orders caused by flooding issued May 17 in Merritt, B.C. were rescinded by May 25.

Sean Smith of the Emergency Operations Centre said in an interview the evacuation alert is applicable "just for the Nicola River floodplain. All of our evacuation orders have been rescinded so everyone is free to go back, largely because the water level in the river has come down significantly."

That was achieved by opening the dam at Nicola Lake which at its peak was releasing 75 cubic metres of water per second. The figure has dropped to 45 cubic metres per second, Smith explained. "That's why we can rescind those orders."

If the water hadn't been released it would have spilled over from the lake, he said.

Unfortunately for Merritt, the Nicola River runs through the town so any substantial increase in flow has the potential to cause flooding.

Although the danger has largely passed "there's still flooded basements. There's still a lot of people who will have to go through this recovery time", Smith explained.

Merritt has a population of 7,139 and is located 270 kilometres east of Vancouver.


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