Celia Harris and Judy Gardiner operate the check in for pet services being offered by the Shuswap Emergency Program in front of the Prestige Harbourfront Resort. The Prestige is acting as the reception centre for all evacuees in Salmon Arm. -image credit: Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer

UPDATE: Accommodation for evacuees, livestock offered

Shuswap Emergency Program trying to accommodate 350 at the Shaw Centre.

  • Jul. 14, 2017 11:30 a.m.

Update: Sunday, July 16, 4 p.m

From the Shuswap Emergency Program:

The Salmon Arm Fairgrounds is open as a place for livestock to stay. Thank you to the Salmon Arm and Shuswap Lake Agricultural Association and their volunteers for making this happen. Please note that they would like you to stay at the fairgrounds with your livestock.

Update: Sunday, July 16, 1:55 p.m.

The reception centre at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort will be open to register newly arriving evacuees from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. daily, but will remain open later if a sufficient number of evacuees arrive.

Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) Emergency Social Services Director Cathy Semchuk says evacuees can still register and receive help in Salmon Arm even if they have already done so elsewere.

Semchuk says they have already received evacuees from Ashcroft, 100 Mile House and other affected communities.

She added Salmon Arm is just one of the reception centres across the Okanagan and Shuswap helping evacuees as they spread out into the southern part of the province.

“I believe Kamloops was at its capacity before Williams Lake was evacuated,” Semchuk said

The SEP recommends evacuees staying in the Salmon Arm area try to do so with friends or family.

The SEP is compiling a database of residents who are offering accommodation to evacuees.

Semchuk says the SEP can provide help in the form of money and groceries for residents who are housing evacuees.

The SEP is not currently taking donations but anyone able to house evacuees can register to do so by calling 250-833-3351. They recommend donating to the Red Cross in order to help wildfire evacuees.

Along with housing in homes throughout the community, the SEP is waiting for the province to provide cots and blankets to set up accommodation for 350 people at the Shaw Centre.

More to come.

Update: Sunday, July 16

Attention wildfire evacuees –

Salmon Arm Emergency Reception Centre is now receiving evacuees through the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP).

Register at the Prestige Harbourfront Resort, 251 Harbourfront Dr. to get gift cards for food, clothing if needed, and referrals for lodging. Any questions, call 250-833-3351.

Attention residents –

If you would like to offer space for evacuees on your property, email sepeoc.comms@csrd.bc.ca with the subject “EOC Billet Offer.”

Provide your name, phone number, area you live in (i.e. Tappen, Enderby, etc), accommodations available (i.e. two beds, room for two RV’s, etc.).

As well, advise if you will accept any pets or livestock.

For up-to-date information on evacuee assistance, go to csrd.bc.ca/news-notices/news or find them on Facebook at Shuswap Emergency Program.

11:45 a.m. Friday, July 14

B.C. wildfire evacuees are finding help in Salmon Arm

Columbia Shuswap Regional District Protective Services team leader Derek Sutherland says people with ties to the community are coming to Salmon Arm where Emergency Social Services (ESS) is able to provide assistance in the form of food, clothing and billets to evacuees who have arrived here.

“We had a lady in here with a couple of little kids and we weren’t going to send her to the evacuation centre in Kamloops,” Sutherland says, noting ESS director Cathy Semchuk was able to provide them with what they needed.

He says a request for CSRD to assist came in from Emergency Management BC.

Evacuees who need to register for emergency support referrals, should call 250-833-3351 and leave a message. A volunteer will get back to them as quickly as possible.

“If we get enough calls, we’ll have the lines checked over the weekend,” Sutherland says. “we’ve got lots of volunteers so let’s put them to work.”

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