Merritt mayor Linda Brown says residents will learn results of flood-damage assessments

Each property in the Nicola Valley community has received a red, yellow, or green placard

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      The mayor of one of B.C.'s flood-ravaged communities says that the city is ready to begin rolling out a "return-to-home" plan.

      Merritt's 7,000 residents had to evacuate when the Coldwater River breached its banks on November 15, filling the city with water.

      In a Facebook post, Mayor Linda Brown said that staff have completed "rapid-damage assessments" of properties.

      Each has received either a red, yellow, or green placard.

      Brown said that starting today (November 22), residents will be able to learn the results of the assessments.

      "We continue to run tests on the drinking water," Brown said, "but these tests take time to complete."

      That's because samples have to be sent to a lab in Kelowna and it takes 24 hours to determine if there is any bacterial growth.

      "The results so far are good but we need to bring more of the system online," Brown said.

      The mayor also stated that staff continue flushing debris from wastewater lines.

      "Every day brings us a little closer to rebuilding our community," Brown declared.

      The City of Merritt was incorporated in 1911. It's one of the larger communities along the Coquihalla Highway, which runs between Hope and Kamloops.