The B.C. government continues to provide an update about major highways and roadways impacted by the atmospheric river that struck the south coast and parts of the Interior.
Public safety minister Mike Farnworth called it an “extreme weather event.”
“Weather specialists have noticed that the impacts have been greater than expected,” he said.
More than 20 reception centres have been set up around the province and Farnworth said everyone who was stuck has now been rescued.
The concern remains the next three storms to hit B.C., which will all be considered atmospheric rivers.
The province announced new measures last Friday to restrict non-essential travel to and from impacted areas.
Highway 99, Highway 3 and Highway 7 are open to essential travel only until at least Dec. 1, 2021. This means non-essential travel will not be allowed on these routes.
Here is a breakdown of the current status of highways in B.C.’s flood-affected areas
To keep supply chains moving, the province has made Highway 7 from Murray Street in Mission to Highway 1 in Hope an essential travel route.
This will go into effect from 8 p.m. Nov. 23 until further notice.
Essential travel will now include public transit, charter buses, and school buses on this route.
In some good news, Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack opened to all travel Nov. 25 at 2 p.m.
It could close again if the weather worsens.
Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope was opened in both directions to essential traffic last weekend. The province says the stretch of highway will be closed Saturday afternoon for an indefinite period while BC Hydro releases water from a nearby reservoir.
Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon, from Hope to Boston Bar, crews have been able to clear a path for emergency travel only. This means crews with CP Rail were able to get through to work on their lines.
Highway 1 through the canyon is now open between the Boothroyd First Nation and Hope, providing the communities of Yale, Supzzum and Boston Bar a direct link to the Lower Mainalnd.
It is for essential travel only.
The Coquihalla Highway, Highway 5 remains closed from Hope to Merritt.
About 20 sites along the highway, which is the main highway connecting the Lower Mainland and the Interior, were damaged or washed away during the storm.
This is about 130 kilometres that have been affected. Five bridges have either collapsed or heavily damaged.
There are currently three sites along the highway where crews are blasting rocks and the government is mobilizing equipment to another two sites.
The highway between Spences Bridge and Boston Bar remains closed. Temporary repairs are underway and it is expected to be weeks before that area can open.
Highway 8 from Merritt to Spences Bridge is closed and still undergoing an assessment. The ministry said there is extensive damage and no timeline to reopen.
Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet opened last Saturday afternoon to essential traffic only. The Ministry of Transportation said it would proactively close the route on Saturday Nov. 27 ahead of anticipated heavy rain, and re-evaluate on Sunday.
Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton has reopened to essential traffic only. The Ministry of Transportation said it would proactively close the route on Saturday Nov. 27 ahead of anticipated heavy rain, and re-evaluate on Sunday.
All routes on Vancouver Island are now open and the sinkhole on Highway 19 was repaired on the weekend.
CP Rail resumed traffic from the Interior to the Lower Mainland on Tuesday evening.
CN Rail was expected to resume traffic to and from the Lower Mainland on Thursday, Nov. 25.
Another look at the #BCstorm damage done to #BChwy8, this is 8km east of #SpencesBridge.
Remember to check https://t.co/NCVlkn102s for the latest updates.
We're collecting photos/videos here of the entire event: https://t.co/acJRjWqm5Z pic.twitter.com/hp0X6DCUeL
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) November 18, 2021
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