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City of Merritt Freshet Update from May 19, 2020

Nicola River Freshet Update – May 19th, 2020 

Residents are encouraged to watch the May 19th Freshet Update Video.

Nicola River Freshet Update – May 18th, 2020 @ 15:00

The City of Merritt has received word from the Provincial dam operator that a gate change is in the process of being made at the Nicola Lake Dam.  Flows out of Nicola Lake will be increasing from the current level of ~32.5 cubic metres per second (cms) to ~37.0 cms.  This change is being made in response to increases in inflow to Nicola Lake following yesterdays rain.

Residents can expect that over the next 12 hours, water levels will rise by ~5 inches vs. current levels.  We do not anticipate that this level of flow will cause overland flooding, however, river levels will be ~2 inches higher than Fridays peak, when flows from the dam were at ~35.5 cms.

Pre-filled sandbags are available at the Civic Centre for any persons who would like them to protect their property.  The City continues to monitor freshet closely and if further increases in outflow are contemplated, the City will provide as much notice to residents as possible.

May 8th, 2020 – Nicola River Conditions Update

Nicola River Outflows from Nicola Lake
  • Outflows from the Nicola Lake dam are currently ~33.0 cubic meters per second (cms).
  • The plan for operation of the dam over the weekend is to make any necessary adjustments to ensure that flows do not exceed their current level of 33.0 cms.  As such, over the weekend, Nicola River levels through Merritt will not go higher than they currently are, and may see slight decline.
  • Mill Creek, which joins the Nicola River after the Nicola Lake, continues to slowly recede and water levels have fallen approximately 1.5 centimetres over the last 24 hours.
Inflows to Nicola Lake have continued to decrease, but inflows still exceed outflows.
  • Nicola Lake has risen by ~7 centimeters over the last 24 hours, compared with ~8 centimeters in the previous 24 hour period.
  • The Nicola River at the outlet of Douglas Lake currently has flows of ~42.0 cms, compared with ~44.4 cms measured at the same time yesterday.
  • Quilchena Creek, which flows into Nicola Lake, has seen recession and water levels have fallen ~15 centimetres over the last 48 hours.

It is looking increasingly likely that we are currently experiencing peak river flows for the 2020 freshet season.  We continue to monitor our river system closely and we will let residents know immediately should we see any change in conditions that could necessitate flows from the dam of over 33cms.  Should conditions remain favourable, residents can expect the next freshet update on Monday, May 11, 2020.

You can catch up on previous videos by clicking the links below:

Concerned residents are also encouraged to visit the River Forecast Centre, as it has a wealth of information and resources regarding river conditions and snowpack.

For more info visit the Emergency Preparedness webpage. 

For More Information Contact:
Sean Smith, EOC Information Officer
City of Merritt
Telephone: (250) 378-8634