Residents of Merritt whose homes are in the Phase 2 portion of the City’s return home plan will be free to return to the city as of noon on Nov. 27, pending final water testing that will be received on Friday, Nov. 26.

The Evacuation Order in this are will subsequently be downgraded to an alert.

Residents need to be aware of the following when returning:

– You will be on an evacuation alert and need to be prepared to leave on short notice.

– A boil water notice is in effect meaning that all water must be boiled before it is consumed.

– Limit water usage. The City is in the process of bringing additional wells online, and we will communicate with residents as soon as water can be more freely used.

– Prior to return, residents should acquire sufficient food and supplies to be self-sufficient as supplies within Merritt are currently limited.

– Garbage and recycling service will commence the week of November 29th, 2021 (commercial service will begin immediately).

– Reduced levels of snow clearing service.

– Reduced flows for fire protection, which is being partially offset by water tanker and water truck vehicles on standby.

– Hydro, gas, and internet utilities are all operational in the Phase 2 area.

– School District 58 is communicating directly with parents and students on school updates.

– Interior Health is planning to have the Emergency Room in the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre reopened on November 29, 2021 at 12:00 PM (noon).

– 9-1-1 service and BC Ambulance service is still available in the community with transport likely to Kamloops for any required hospital visit. Local physicians continue to offer telephone health care services

“We are thrilled to be announcing the return of Phase 2 tomorrow,” said Merritt Mayor Linda Brown.

“This is another major milestone in our journey towards recovery. It wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts and thousands of hours put in by all of our emergency operations staff, first responders, and volunteers. I also wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our neighbours who have lent us resources over the last week to help expedite our recovery. We are stronger, together.”

An update regarding Phase 3 will be provided on Friday, Nov. 26.