After being transferred to 100 Mile House 2 and a half weeks ago, Merritt Evacuees returned home this past Sunday night.
Director of 100 Mile House and District Emergency Support Services, Liz Jones, said of the 60 people they received, some were staff members that were looking after long-term care residents that were taken to Fischer Place and explained where the remaining Merritt residents stayed.
“Many of them chose to stay with family or friends that they had met earlier in the year as far as friends go with the fires, and some had previous family links here as well some most the people were billeted.”
Jones noted that they were all amazing and very grateful for whatever the E-S-S could offer them like a warm, safe place to stay.
She said when the Merritt residents arrived, it was a smooth transition for her team who used the old 100 Mile Lodge as a reception center.
Even following the COVID protocol of having only two people in the center at a time to get processed it went very well until they had a computer problem.
“The lines were just too overloaded with all of the rest of the Provincial evacuations that were going on,” Jones said, “So we went back to the paper for a little while and then we managed to get everything entered into the computers again and we looked after everybody to the best of our abilities with what we had.”
Jones said it was a hard time for the Merritt residents as many of them didn’t know what they were going to go back to and a few knew what was not going to be there when they went back.
She added her team did their best to support with them information and coping skills as they went back into an unknown.