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Although water levels have been rising in the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers, there is not likely to be any immediate flooding within the City in the immediate future, according to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.
In a City of Merritt press release issued Friday morning, Fire Chief Dave Tomkinson said the rivers are still within their channel banks and the ministry does not anticipate over-bank flooding.
“Everything is normal as of right now,” said Tomkinson. “We’ve been in contact with the ministry and we are well within the channelled banks.”
The City is warning residents living adjacent to the Nicola and Coldwater Rivers that they may experience water infiltration into pipes and basement as a result of groundwater seepage or basement drain backups; however, Tomkinson said that is normal for this time of year.
“We truly have no worries,” he said. “We are monitoring the river levels multiple times a day. We are out there on the ground and there is definitely no cause for alarm.”
Several days of seasonally hot weather earlier in the week led to high snowmelt rates, which caused rivers to rise in response across British Columbia. In other areas of the provinc, including the Okanagan and the Similkameen River tributaries, the ministry issued High Streamflow Advisories; however, temperatures dropped following rainy weather and the snow melt rates declined as well, so the advisories ended just before the weekend.
“Significant snow pack still remains at mid to high elevation throughout the region and seasonal flood risk still remains,” read an update from the B.C. River Forecast Centre.
There are no official warnings in Merritt at this time.
Even so, the City press release cautions residents to keep a respectful distance from river banks and to keep children and animals safe.
Chief administrative officer Matt Noble said the city officials will be meeting this week to determine a plan in case flooding does occrr as water levels change.