As of Nov. 18, 2021, more than 500 families had been assisted at the Shuswap Emergency Program reception centre set up for Merritt evacuees at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort. (CSRD photo)

As of Nov. 18, 2021, more than 500 families had been assisted at the Shuswap Emergency Program reception centre set up for Merritt evacuees at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort. (CSRD photo)

More than 500 families receive support at Salmon Arm reception centre for Merritt evacuees

Columbia Shuswap Regional District asks shoppers to refrain from overbuying

More than 500 families have received accommodation and other basic needs through the Shuswap Emergency Program’s reception centre for Merritt evacuees.

At the request of Emergency Management B.C., the Shuswap Emergency Program opened its emergency reception centre at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort on Monday, Nov. 15.

As of Thursday, Nov. 18, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) said Emergency Support Services (ESS) staff and volunteers had assisted more than 500 families in providing for basic needs including accommodation, food, some clothing and other incidentals.

If they haven’t already, any evacuees staying in the area are asked to check in at their nearest reception centre.

Due to a shortage of accommodations allowing pets, the CSRD said the Shuswap Branch of the SPCA is providing assistance by housing animals, and that citizens can help by donating canned dog food, crates and clean blankets for the SPCA. The CSRD asks that items be labeled “SPCA Donation” and dropped off at the reception centre.

In addition to the reception centre, SEP activated an emergency operations centre to monitor the situation and provide supports where needed.

“I think everyone in our regional district can be very thankful we have been relatively unscathed compared to so many of our neighbouring municipalities and regional districts,” said CSRD board chair Kevin Flynn at the Nov. 18 board meeting. “…We now need to be supportive neighbours.”

A related Nov. 18 CSRD media release notes there has been some panic buying at local stores, and that information provided to SEP indicates any shortages will be short-term as supplies are being redirected to this area from Alberta.

Flynn encouraged CSRD residents to offer help and support to others in the province and to refrain from over-buying.

“I’m asking all residents to please be good neighbours so we can get through this together,” said Flynn. “There’s no other way to get through it.”

Read more: Reception centre opened in Salmon Arm for Merritt evacuees

Read more: Highway 97 through Penticton will see huge spike in traffic


lachlan@saobserver.net
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