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Access to Merritt prohibited, care homes evacuated as flooding continues

Interior Health has closed the Nicola Valley Hospital

Access into Merritt will be prohibited as of 4 p.m. Monday (Nov. 15), due to the ongoing flooding situation and the failure of the wastewater treatment plant.

Barricades have been erected on Voght Street at the city’s northern junction of Highway 5, on Coldwater Road at the entrance from the southern junction of Highway 5, and Highway 8 at the western entrance to Merritt. RCMP will be ensuring no one enters the city.

Interior Health (IH) is working to evacuate all clients and patients within Merritt.

The health authority is evacuating care home residents from Coquihalla Gillis House, Nicola Meadows and The Florentine, as well as patients from the Nicola Valley Hospital and all community health clients.

The Nicola Valley Hospital and emergency department are closed until further notice. Anyone who requires emergency care should call 911 or visit the emergency department at the Kelowna General Hospital or the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

IH will continue to monitor flood activity across the region and has evacuation planning in place to support anyone who may be in isolation due to COVID-19.

Emergency Support Services (ESS) receptions are located at the following locations:

•Civic Centre, 1950 Mamette Avenue, Merritt

•McArthur Island, 1655 Island Parkway, Kamloops

•Parkinson Activity Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna

Evacuees should register online or contact 1-800-585-9559 for more information.

Earlier on Monday Merritt residents were told to leave their homes as flooding wreaks havoc on the Thompson-region town.

The Coquihalla Highway, Highway 7, 3 and sections of Highway 1 are closed due to flooding and mudslides.

READ MORE: Intense storm blows through Kelowna, knocks out power

READ MORE: Man rescued after being swept away in Princeton flood waters; caution urged near river banks


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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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