Freshet

Gate change (increase) at Nicola Dam

By June 18, 2022No Comments

Due to increased water flows towards Nicola Lake, the dam on Nicola Lake will be opened further today (June 18th, 2022). The increased flow should be lower than the flows we saw last weekend (which themselves did not cause flooding), and will arrive in Merritt in the evening of Saturday June 18th.

The total flow through Merritt will be approximately 47 cubic metres per second (m^3/s). This will be made up of 45m^3/s from Nicola Lake, and approximately 1.5-2m^3/s out of Clapperton (Mill) Creek.

In contrast, last weekend we had as much as 52m^3/s coming out of Nicola Lake alone, and the City did not see flooding. This is also less water than we saw in 2020, when we did not see flooding. For those reasons, we do not expect to see flooding in Merritt. However, fields near the City may fill with water, and the groundwater levels will be high. In addition, the water in the river will be high and fast.

Even with the gate change, we will be taking less water through Merritt than is currently flowing into Nicola Lake. The Lake is rising, which is helping to protect the City, and the valley downstream. The increased flows we took last week created the room to do this, and the City and the dam operator are in close communication about how to safely manage the increased flows.

Our advice remains:

  • Residents of low lying areas should be using their sump pumps
  • All residents have access to free sand and bags in the parking lot opposite Merritt Civic Centre for their peace of mind
  • Follow the City’s website, social media channels, and VoyentAlert! To be informed of any changes
  • Stay away from river banks, as the water is high and fast
  • Emergency Preparedness is year-round. Have a 72-hour kit ready, and talk to your family about what your emergency plan looks like

We will keep you informed of changes in the river level.

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