Several highways across BC remain closed as the province continues to dig its way out of an extreme weather event that has stranded motorists and forced people from their homes
Heavy rain and high winds continue to pound several communities across the province as some evacuation orders and states of emergency remain in place.
The city of Merritt ordered all 71-hundred residents to flee yesterday (Monday) and one of them was the grandmother of PG resident Caisy Jackson.
Jackson told Vista Radio there were some tense moments when trying to communicate with her grandmother.
“We had to go through the RCMP to have her picked up and taken to the evacuation centre. Then she was taken over to Kamloops where we were able to go down and get her so it was a little touch and go there for a little bit.”
“There was definitely a frantic point of not knowing how to get her to the Muster Point where they were transporting to the evacuation centres and of course, all the services were extremely busy so getting ahold of somebody took some time.
Jackson’s grandmother is now safely in PG.
She is curious how the community will respond once residents are able to come home.
“It’s going to be interesting on how the community responds let alone individuals, lots was lost that’s for sure.”
Adam Besse is a PG former resident who is a professional truck driver based in Kamloops.
He is stranded along the Highway 1 road closure in Spuzzum, near Hope due to rock and mudslides.
Besse stated it didn’t take long for him and his crew to become stranded.
“We got here at 10:30 at night on Sunday and then Monday morning is when things really started to get worse with rocks and slides and then washouts started happening throughout the day so it was around 10 am yesterday (Monday) when we were cut off.”
“We’ve got a crew of about 10 guys down here and then there are different railway crews because we all came down to deal with washouts and derailments. We are fine but she (Mother Nature) is keeping it interesting. A bunch of rocks stopped down beside my truck so it made me sit up and take notice.”
Besse added he’s just waiting out the situation until given the all-clear to travel again.
“I am lucky that I am in a spot where we have some cell service. It’s just one of those things where Mother Nature is boss and we are just along for the ride.”
“There is not much we can do at this point. We are waiting for the word from highways as to what they are going to do to open things up but until then we just have to sit tight.”
However, the immediate weather forecast along the Trans-Canada corridor is less than promising.
“In this area, we are supposed to get more rain come noon and then this evening it is supposed to drop where I am at. It’s supposed to drop down to minus six tonight. If it does not rain it maybe snow and if it’s not snowing and the temperature drops, it will cause a lot of rock to fracture off,” said Besse.
In addition, Paula Cousins, the Interior region representative of the Ministry of Transportation told the media yesterday (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 millimeters of rain since Saturday evening.
Also, Highway 1 between 3 and 11 is also closed to traffic until further notice.