Kamloops, British Columbia — Balkad Khan, displaced by an unprecedented flood, wiped tears on Thursday at one of the emergency reception centers set up to help residents of British Columbia Merit. ..
Kahn said he and his family, wife Afrin and daughters Marbean and Mahira, were given only 10 minutes to leave before the house was flooded.
“It’s gone. Underwater. It’s all gone. There’s nothing left. There’s nothing to return,” said Kahn, who moved from Calgary to Merritt in March.
Kahn visits the Kamloops center about 100 km from Merit every day, and authorities have repeatedly said that he has to wait for a call to get help.
“I’m here now, and you know what he’s saying — if you’re not dead, we can’t do anything for you. At least show compassion. Please, “Khan said.
“You don’t know how much we lost. We lost everything. This is wrong.”
Kahn said things were desperate because he had to borrow money from friends and family just to get his family into the hotel.
“Please help us. How long can you borrow money to stay at a hotel? At some point, there will be a shortage of people to call,” he said.
“The hardest thing in the world is to ask someone for help. It breaks your ego, but for your family and children, you do these things.”
Kahn said he had enough time to leave with several clothes in one suitcase.
At the reception center, about 80 people were patiently waiting for help. The children were crying. A man put his belongings in a black trash bag.
British Columbia declared a state of emergency this week after constant rains pushed the river against the embankment, including the Coldwater River in Merit. Initially, about 2,000 people were evacuated due to the rapid flooding, but then the city as a whole was evacuated as the water and sewage treatment facility went offline.
Merritt City was evacuated during the summer due to a wildfire.
Henry Klaus was at the center with his daughter, granddaughter, and brother.
“This kind of situation seems to make things worse. On the other hand, you have a COVID, which leads to wildfires in merit, and of course now there is a flood,” he said.
“We just got up and panicked because we heard the order that the merit was a global evacuation, and we had to go. Put together the necessities and what you can do right away. Get it, “he said.
So far, Klaus said their homes are safe and nearby water seems to be starting to recede.
“Fortunately, it didn’t rise enough to overwhelm the whole place. I hope everything is A-OK. That’s all I can do.”
Bill Gray Brand