A resiliency centre for flood victims will be opened in Merritt beginning Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will provide information about disaster financial programs and offer clean-up kits to flood-impacted residents of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
It will be open on Tuesday, Thursday and the following Saturday.
Rain Thursday night caused the Nicola River to breach its banks, causing heavy flooding in some parts of Merritt. An evacuation order remained in effect for several properties in the Lower Nicola.
Representatives from the TNRD, Lower Nicola Indian Band, Canadian Red Cross and the Disaster financial Assistance Program will be on hand to provide information and offer assistance.
A resiliency centre has also been set up in Kamloops at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Convention Centre. It was open Friday and will be open again on Monday, Wednesday and next Friday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Representatives from the TNRD and Canadian Red Cross will be on hand.
The flood watch continued into the weekend all over the regional district and Interior.
The City of Kamloops declared a state of local emergency in the Heffley Creek area Friday as imminent stream bank erosion threatened one home in the 500 block of Lister Road. The City was undertaking immediate action to prevent further erosion of the bank to alleviate the risk to the home.
In response to the recent water events, the City is monitoring and evaluating risk to homes adjacent to Heffley Creek within the City. Initial investigations identifed only one home as threatened.
By-law officials have notified the affected property owners. The full declaration and map of affected properties can be found online at www.kamloops.ca/flood.
The City’s Emergency Operations Centre has 24-hour staff coverage throughout the weekend to respond to flooding or rain damage. The City asks residents impacted by high water levels to continue their efforts to protect their properties. Residents are also asked to stay well back from rivers, creeks and other waterways and keep animals and livestock a safe distance away.
A broken water line that feeds into the north Westsyde reservoir Friday resulted in a request from the City to all residents of Harrington Road to minimize water usage.
Increased water levels due to continued inclement weather and melting snowpack are expected in the Northeast, Central and Southeast regions of B.C., and there is an associated potential for further flooding and landslides, says the provincial government. It issued a bulletin Friday on what homeowners impacted by flooding should do about their pets.
The Province is recommending that pet owners make a pet plan as a precaution:
* Make a list of pet-friendly family members and contact numbers for short-term boarding, if necessary. Displaced pet owners can also check with local hotels about their pet policies (these are sometimes lifted in an emergency situation).
* Prepare a pet grab-and-go bag and make sure you have everything you need for your pets for a minimum of three days, including extra supplies depending on the needs of your pet.
* Prepare if you are not at home during an emergency. Provide a trusted friend or neighbour with a key and let them know where your pet grab-and-go bag is located.
* Be in the know – if you use a kennel or day care, ask if they have an emergency plan. Stay up to date with your pet’s medications, and check with local authorities for information about organizations or resources available during an evacuation.
* Practise your plan.
Animals can become disoriented, frightened or aggressive after a disaster. Add a few items to your emergency kit to help calm your pet, such as a towel with your scent on it. You may need thick gloves to help you handle a panicked pet.
Flood waters move fast, so develop a household plan, put together an emergency kit, connect with your neighbours, and learn about the emergency response plan for your area.
For more information and guides, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc.
If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors, and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.