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HomeNewsPublic Safety Minister calls flooding, rock and mud slides a "dynamic situation"

Public Safety Minister calls flooding, rock and mud slides a “dynamic situation”

An extreme weather event resulting in flooding, mud, and rock slides continues to wreak havoc for those stranded as well as emergency crews.

File Photo of Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth/BC Gov Flickr

According to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, there are four locations on Highway 7 near Aggasiz where there are washouts and debris.

In addition, Highway 1 between 3 and 11 is also closed to traffic until further notice.

Paula Cousins, the Interior region representative of the Ministry of Transportation told the media this afternoon (Monday) areas in and around Merritt continue to be rocked the hardest.

“The Coquihalla remains closed between Merritt and Hope. The corridor has received over 230 millimetres of rain since Saturday evening.”

Armel Castellan with Environment Canada stated the recent weather patterns over the next 24 hours will prove to make conditions more treacherous.

“Rain is going to shift to snow for places like the Coquihalla Summit where up to 20 centimetres of snow are possible and a lot of wind, so very treacherous driving conditions and poor visibility is likely.”

Earlier in the day, the City of Merritt declared a state of emergency asking all 10-thousand of its residents to leave the community immediately and head to either Kelowna or Kamloops.

There is no estimated time of reopening Highway 5 at this time.

In addition, there has been a slide near Lillooet where more than 50 cars are trapped.

As dire as the situation sounds, Farnworth mentioned progress has been made in terms of rescue efforts.

“Many people have been rescued by helicopters from the mudslides near Aggasiz and Hope with crews looking to rescue the remaining people in the next few hours and I want to thank Aggasiz and the Seabird First Nation for their support in housing the evacuees.”

Furthermore, mud has now been found on the highway near Revelstoke by the Enchanted Forest. It is still open. But could close with very limited notice.

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