A high stream flow advisory was issued by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources for Coldwater River. The City of Merritt is reminding residents to keep a respectful distance from the river banks and keep your children and animals safe.

“We get the same warning every spring just to keep a safe distance from the rivers and let the city know of any potential flooding issues such as logjams so we can react to it quickly,” said Sky McKeown, emergency program coordinator for the City of Merritt. “With these hotter temperatures we’ve obviously had some run off and we’ve got unseasonably warm temperatures across the province.”

McKeown said that in addition to monitoring the Coldwater River, the city is also keeping an eye on Nicola River.

“The upper snow packs of the Nicola are fairly diminished,” he said. “Upper Nicola River is coming down pretty good right now. Even in the last six or eight hours we’ve seen it drop. We’re hoping that’s a trend and we’ve topped out with the high melt flowing into it.”

McKeown said there is still room for half a metre of water in Nicola Lake to fill.

“As it stands now, what’s coming into the lake with the level of the lake being able to rise, and with Nicola River still being able to rise and stay within the banks, we still have room,” he said.

“I am assured by our hydrologist (Jeptha Ball) that we’re sitting okay for the Nicola.”

With temperatures expected to cool down soon, McKeown said they’re hoping the Coldwater River levels will recede.

“We’re definitely watching the Coldwater River,” he said. “It’s definitely higher than normal for this time, but the Coldwater still has a metre’s worth of height before it becomes bank-full. We’re definitely going to be chewing into that but as it stands now, Ball says that unless we see temperatures in the high-30s or we see rain storms, our banks should be able to take what we have coming from the snow packs.”