- Merritt, B.C., residents have been permitted to return home after the city lifted flood evacuation orders once more.
- McKinnon has been driving his excavator about town for the past three weeks, offering assistance to anyone who needs it.
Merritt, B.C. residents, were given the green light to return home as the city removed flood evacuation orders once more.
Previously, residents of houses in Phases 3 and 4 of the city’s return home plan were subject to an evacuation order and were only allowed entry during the day.
On Friday, though, the injunction was removed, allowing locals to return home in droves.
“A lot is going on today,” Merritt resident Howard McKinnon said in an interview with CTV News Vancouver on Saturday. “There’s debris piled on the road; we’re moving muck away.”
“Everywhere you look, individuals are attempting to reassemble their lives.”
McKinnon has been driving his excavator about town for the past three weeks, offering assistance to anyone who needs it. The recent snowfall and frigid conditions, he said, have exacerbated the turmoil.
He stated, “We need boots on the ground.”
While most inhabitants are now ready to return home full-time, 366 residences have been judged “unlivable” by the city.
Merritt information officer Alan Stebbing told CTV News, “We’ve implemented a new evacuation area that is primarily houses that are either damaged or have concerns with their utilities, such gas, hydro, or water.”
According to Stebbing, when more individuals come home, the number of uninhabitable houses may increase.
“We anticipate that this figure will begin to fluctuate,” Stebbing added. “As individuals return to their houses, we’re discovering some that are unlivable and weren’t included, so we’re incorporating them to ensure that those folks get assistance.”
According to Interior Health, the city’s water supply is now under a boil water alert after being on a “do not consume” order.
“There were a couple of important achievements yesterday in terms of bringing the residents back to Merritt and resuming normalcy,” Stebbing said.
On the other hand, McKinnon claims that there has been a lack of assistance from all levels of government and that citizens have adopted a “do it yourself” attitude.
“Nobody is counting on any official assistance at this time, so we’ll simply keep doing what we’re doing.”
B.C. government official told CTV News that Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth would visit Merritt early next week.
Source: Global News
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