More trouble in the southern interior as floodwaters continue to play havoc for communities across the province.
Flooding and washouts have closed Highway 8 on both sides of the small community of Lower Nicola, just west of Merritt, leaving residents virtually cut off.
DriveBC says the washout 25 km west of the town is open to emergency vehicles only.
The Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure says equipment and crews are on site working to repair the damage, but stream flows remain high.
Meanwhile, all road access to Merritt remains closed with floodwater overtopping the bridge at the edge of town. Engineers are on site trying to protect the structure.
“They’re stopping all access from Merritt to Lower Nicola,” says Ross Hanke, who owns Around Back Storage.
“The bridge is just before you get to the corner in Lower Nicola, so the subdivision is on the other side of the bridge, so yeah. People aren’t getting back to their homes. Some of them are walking, there’s a couple places where you can walk across the old trestle bridges… I don’t know for how much longer.”
The TNRD says some residents of the community remain on evacuation alert, and that the nearby Mamit Lake Dam is being closely watched and water levels appear to be dropping.
That dam’s spillway suffered some damage, raising early concerns the dam could fail. Officials in the area now say it appears to be safe.
Hanke says the community has been hit hard by the high water.
“It’s fairly significant flooding, we’ve lost some local bridges and there’s been some houses that have been damaged beyond repair. There’s groups of people trying to do their best to save their houses, but everybody’s been sandbagging here. ”
High water levels have also damaged some power poles and cut off electricity to some areas leaving a number of residents in the dark.