The city’s sandbags have been removed and Merritt is not expected to experience any flooding this summer.

Sky McKeown, emergency program co-ordinator for the City of Merritt, said the sandbags were removed a few weeks ago and water levels of Merritt’s rivers are stable.

McKeown said at this point, Merritt has received all the water flow from remaining snowmelt.

“The sandbagging was really put in place in regards to the monsoon season that we actually received here this year, with the one rainfall and then about a week and a half later with the other big rainfall,” McKeown said in regards to June’s showers.

“Those put just over 70 millimetres into the Nicola watershed area,” McKeown said.

This caused the need to allow more cubic metres per second (CMS) of water to be released from Nicola Lake down the Nicola River, he said.

When the sandbags were in place, the Nicola River saw a height of 34 CMS rushing down the waterway from the Nicola dam.

Since then, the outflow from the Nicola dam has dropped from about 24 CMS and now 12 CMS, McKeown said.

He said the river bank appears to have dropped about 10 to 12 inches since the reduction from the Nicola dam. Since its peak at 34 CMS, the river levels have come down about two feet.

He said the outflow was reduced to about 14 CMS and the sandbags came off the river just prior to the monsoon rain Merritt sustained for about a week at the end of June. In response, the outflow was increased to 28 CMS before decreasing again to its current 12.

Compared to last year’s monsoon season, Merritt had a few more millimetres of rain but 10 per cent less snowpack, leaving less runoff from the snow.

As for the rest of the summer, McKeown said water levels of the rivers are stable but people need to remain river smart.

“The rivers have gone down, but if people are going to be out in the rivers with their kids, doing any kind of tubing or any of that kind of stuff, they still need to respect [the river]. Even though it’s a lower flow and a slower rate, it’s still powerful,” McKeown said.

McKeown said when it comes to heavy rain from monsoon seasons the potential danger lies in the Nicola watershed. If rain is pouring there for days at a time, that is when monsoon seasons can affect flooding and water levels as was the case in Calgary, where a large amount of rain dumped in areas that were already saturated with water, he said.

“It had nowhere to go, other than down a river that was already full,” McKeown said in regards to the recent Alberta floods.