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Couple gets first glimpse of flood damage to their Merritt home

Friends, family set up GoFundMe to help the couple recover from the flood

Dylan Bullock and girlfriend Maria Cihlar got a look Tuesday at the flood damage to their home in Merritt.

It’s been a tough year for Bullock. He was seriously burned fighting the Sparks Lake wildfire, near Kamloops, and then just days after Maria moved in with him, they were forced to flee as floodwaters rushed into their house.

He says it was actually a relief to see the damage and know what they’re dealing with. There was about an inch or two of mud covering the floor and the floorboards were warped.

Bullock and Cihlar were only allowed in for about 20 minutes on Tuesday, to retrieve some belongings.

Their house is in phase 3 of the re-entry plan for the community. It’s in one of the hardest-hit areas of Merritt, Pine Street. The Coldwater River forged a new course down a portion of the street during the flood.

Bullock says contractors have estimated repairs to the building would likely range between $20,000 and $50,000. He’s hoping to hear soon from the City of Merritt about when they will be allowed back in to begin the cleanup. For the time being, they’re staying with Maria’s parents in Kelowna.

Family and friends set up a Go Fund Me to help the injured wildland firefighter through the latest setback. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had raised more than $7,200.