Damaged highways, hospital reopening discussed in Thompson-Nicola Regional District flood update

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The Thompson-Nicola Reginal District held an information-packed flood update on Tuesday afternoon.

The online meeting covered several topics in the wake of last week’s flooding, which forced the evacuation of Merritt.

The topics included updates on area highways, damage to the electrical grid, the disaster financial assistance program and rapid damage assessment.

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Officials said the video will be uploaded to the TNRD’s social media channels, including YouTube.

The TNRD said residents affected by evacuation alerts and orders can check their status online, adding 51 properties in the Brookmere area had an order rescinded on Tuesday.

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In other news, Interior Health says it is looking at resuming services this Friday at Nicola Valley Hospital in Merritt.

The hospital was evacuated on Nov. 15 because of flood-related evacuation orders.

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B.C. floods: Princeton calls for military aid to help with flood recovery

B.C. floods: Princeton calls for military aid to help with flood recovery

However, Interior Health noted that the opening will be under limited hours, from noon to 6:30 p.m., on Friday, and 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Next week, those hours will be re-evaluated, with the goal of fully reopening the hospital.

A spokesperson with BC Hydro said flooding in the Merritt area has resulted in significant infrastructure damage, including 90-plus power poles that were either damaged or washed away along Highway 8 between Merritt and Spences Bridge.

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“We are in the very preliminary stages of trying to find alternative routes and alternative means of service,” said Gregg Jackson with BC Hydro.

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B.C. floods: Horses airlifted to safety

B.C. floods: Horses airlifted to safety

Regarding highway traffic, the Ministry of Transportation said the following:

  • Highway 1 has sustained significant damage, and crews are working to establish traffic flow.
  • Highway 3 is open, albeit to goods movement and essential travel only.
  • Highway 5 is still closed, and there is no time when it’ll be reopened.
  • Highway 5A is open, but motorists are encouraged to use Highway 97.
  • Highway 8 is closed, having sustained significant damage.
  • Highway 99 is open, and that it’s designated for passenger vehicles and vehicles under 14,600 kg in weight.
  • All damaged highways continue to have active construction zones.
  • Motorists should expect delays due to said construction.
  • Checkpoints have been established to ensure essential travel only.

The ministry noted that DriveBC is still the best way to find out highway conditions and updates.

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Merritt releases its return home plan'

B.C. floods: Merritt releases its return home plan

B.C. floods: Merritt releases its return home plan

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