Nicola Valley Hospital re-opens next week

Interior Health plans to resume emergency department services at the Nicola Valley Hospital beginning Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Emergency department hours at Nicola Valley Hospital: Monday, Nov. 29, the emergency department will be open from noon to 6:30pm, Beginning Tuesday Nov. 30, the emergency department will be open daily (seven days/week) from 7:30am-6:30pm. IH is reviewing the situation and weather impacts daily and will advise the public of any changes to the planned gradual resumption of emergency department services.

 COVID-19 testing is also expected to resume in Merritt starting Friday, Nov. 26. Anyone who needs a COVID-19 test can review their closest options when booking online here:

For any emergency, call 911.

Canada Post mail forwarding

Canada Post is offering free mail forwarding service for the next year to Merritt residents who have been displaced due to flooding. Customers with postal codes V2R 5E0, Yarrow, and V0E 2R0, Quilchena, or those starting with V1K, Merritt, or V2T, Abbotsford, can request the free service until Monday, Dec. 20. Residents can register for the service online or go to a post office and register with a government-issued ID. On Monday, Nov. 15, Canada Post issued a red delivery service alert for Merritt and a yellow service alert for four western provinces. In the meantime, all items and mail that cannot be delivered are being held in safe and secure Canada Post facilities until contingency plans are in place. FMI 1-866-607-6301.

Red Cross gives $2000 per household for flood victims

You’re eligible if your primary residence was placed on evacuation order due to the flooding and extreme weather event November 14 to 16, 2021.Call 1-800-863-6582, Register with the Red Cross seven days a week, 8 am to 8 pm (PDT)

BC Hydro systems & billing relief

BC Hydro reports its systems in Merritt are in good shape, and power was not  turned off except in flood-impacted areas. Where it was turned off, residents will have to get electrical inspections before it can be reconnected. Billing relief will happen automatically — though perhaps not right away (fire-impacted refunds from the summer are only now showing on hydro bills). Residents do not have to apply for the credits.

Fortis BC damage assessments & billing relief

FortisBC crews have completed damage assessments of gas meters on homes and buildings in Merritt that were in the areas most heavily affected by flooding, primarily the southwest region of the city. Over the last weekend, crews inspected about 500 properties on the southwest side of town to determine if the meter set and natural gas appliances were potentially submerged by floodwaters.  Crews visit each home or business to turn gas back on at the meter and relight any appliances where possible following guidance from Technical Safety BC. If no one is home, door tags that provide contact information for relights will be left. Once you return home, if you’ve received a tag, or if the service valve on your natural gas meter is turned to the “off” position (crosswise to the pipe) do not turn it on yourself. Also, do not use any gas appliances that have been damaged or submerged until they have been thoroughly inspected by a licensed gas contractor. The contractor will check, repair and test the pressure of all gas pipes that may have been affected by the flood, and they’ll make sure all your gas equipment is safe to operate. Also if you smell rotten eggs or hear the sound of escaping gas, stop what you’re doing, go outside and dial 9-1-1 or call FortisBC’s 24-hour emergency line. FMI 

Customers who have been under evacuation order for more than 5 days will receive an automatic bill credit in the coming months to cover the energy used at their home or business during time they are forced from their homes or businesses due to evacuations. FortisBC is also pausing collection-related activities, including outreach to customers to remind them of outstanding amounts and are waiving late payment charges that may have otherwise occurred during the evacuation period.