The BC Government gave an update this afternoon (Tuesday) on the surveying, clearing, and repairs going on across the province to open up the highways:
- Hwy 1 near Hope: Five sites have accumulated and caused damage, crews are working near the Hope area to clear the debris and repair the road.
- Hwy 1 west of Hope: crews are waiting for the water that has covered parts of the highway to recede. Some areas have been opened up in the Agassiz for emergency traffic only.
- Hwy 7 near Agassiz: debris is being worked on East of the area.
- Hwy 3: A survey was done and equipment is being mobilized by contractors to begin work on the west end.
- East of Princeton: flooding is still occurring, so it’s being monitored.
- Hwy 11: is closed in the lower mainland both north and south of Hwy 1.
- Hwy 5: at least five structures have been compromised and have multiple washouts. Significant repairs will need to be done before it’s useable again.
- Hwy 1 near Lytton: roads are closed south of Spences Bridge, there are washouts, and bridges are damaged.
- Hwy 12 between Lytton and Lillooet: cleanup work got underway immediately and is expected to reopen today (Tuesday).
- Hwy 99: remains closed south of Lillooet, work is underway, but can only be done during daylight hours due to safety reasons.
- Hwy 8: between Merrit and Spences Bridge is closed, was assessed today and roads are washed out and a bridge washed away.
- Hwy 1 between Kamloops and Golden: currently open
The BC Government is reminding residents to check DriveBC to keep updated on the road conditions.
“Our maintenance contractors have gathered all the heavy equipment they can, they are ready to clear roads, they are waiting for the signal for when it is safe to do so on many of our highways. We fully recognize how important it is right now in BC to reopen the road connections from the lower mainland to the interior to get supply chains moving again,” said Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming.
The River Forecast Centre said that we’ve seen the worst of the flooding.
“We’ve experienced the flood peaks across the province and we are seeing river levels dropping at this point,” said Dave Campbell with the River Forecast Centre.
Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said today is mostly about assessment, and that a state of emergency could be coming after tomorrow’s meeting.
“I can tell you that a province-wide state of emergency is very much on the table. Tomorrow we have a cabinet meeting and I will be going forward with my colleagues with a full briefing to cabinet.”
He added that this is a climate change issue.
” I have no doubt that these are climate-related events. They are unprecedented in their nature. And as we have been warned and told to expect more of these as our climate changes. Our challenge is to adapt and to meet these disasters.”