North Shore Rescue was busy Tuesday helping rescue residents trapped in Merritt just a day after the city was put under an ongoing evacuation order due to extreme flooding.
Roughly 7,000 people were forced out of their homes Monday, after flooding compromised the city’s water and wastewater-treatment system, told to make plans to stay with family or friends within the Interior or head to evacuation centres in Kamloops and Kelowna.
But not everyone was able to get to safe ground, left to wait for rescue crews to help airlift them from their properties.
North Shore Rescue, one of B.C.’s busiest search and rescue teams, said in an update Tuesday night that team members rescued 15 people – including three people who needed medical attention – and 13 animals from Merritt and nearby Spences Bridge.
Video posted on social media gave British Columbians the chance to sit in the virtual seat of a rescuer who was helping extract a family of three plus their pet dog.
In an update to reporters, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth confirmed everyone was safely evacuated from the city, which remains cutoff to the Lower Mainland. It’s unclear when the most srteamlined route, through the Coquihalla Highway, will reopen.
British Columbians are being urged to avoid non-essential travel.
“Stay safe, and if you don’t have to travel, please stay close to home,” North Shore Rescue said in a statement. Let’s give our emergency services time to do their work and catch up.”
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