Between May 31st and June 16th, inflows to Nicola Lake were well below outflows and the lake receded ~53 centimetres during that time, eliminating the overland flood risk. However, the rain from earlier this week caused inflows to rise by nearly 20 cubic metres/second and the lake started to rise again. An increase to outflows was necessary (currently ~47 cms, compared with this season’s high of ~53 cms) because Nicola Lake is still above operating capacity and there are residents in Upper Nicola still evacuated. When the lake recedes ~13 more centimetres to the full pool level, residents will begin to see significant reductions in flow through Merritt. This level will likely be reached within the next 4 – 7 days.
Total flows through Merritt during the 2020 freshet now exceed the total flows from both the 2017 and 2018 freshet seasons, as wet weather has kept inflows unseasonably high. We recognize that groundwater is also extremely high and that many residents are still actively pumping from sumps and in some cases, even basements. We hear your frustration and also want to know when those levels will come down, but there is a lag effect with groundwater that makes prediction complicated. The City has recently commissioned a further study that may assist with predictions such as these in the future, but for now, all we can confidently say is that groundwater levels will eventually fall as the Nicola River begins to recede.
For More Information Contact:
Sean Smith, EOC Information Officer
City of Merritt
Telephone: (250) 378-8634