Evacuees arrive in Kamloops after slow drive from Williams Lake

By Jill Sperling
July 16, 2017 - 4:00pm

KAMLOOPS — After hours in congested traffic, wildfire evacuees from Williams Lake have arrived in Kamloops, lining up to register at the Emergency Reception Centre at the Sandman Centre. 

Saturday evening's evacuation order forced thousands to head south, a journey that would take up to eight hours due to the heavy traffic. 

At the reception centre evacuees have found food, coffee, pet supplies, and a place to lay their heads. 

"What I can tell you is there was approximately 300 people that we were able to find beds for last night, over the night for registration," said Debbie Sell, information officer with the TNRD Emergency Operations Centre. "As of this morning we had given out 700 numbers to people who were standing in line. So, what we're doing to make it a little bit more orderly, and so people don't have to stand too long is providing them with a number, and then they can come back for registration in that number." 

When an evacuation alert was issued for Williams Lake on Monday (July 10), many residents began preparing for an exodus. While the journey was slow, many are simply relieved to be safe. 

As the steady stream of evacuees into Kamloops continues, the TNRD is asking those who do not need lodging to hold off on registration. 

"The registration immediately is for people that don't have anywhere else to go, they need accommodation, they need food, those are the people that should come down right away to the reception centre," Sell said. 

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