Numerous roads are closed southwest of Williams Lake due to flooding.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said Wednesday afternoon the Chilcotin River and associated tributaries have experienced a one in 200-year flood event following more than 90 millimeters of rainfall in the past few days.

“Today the regional district along with some of our partners, the Tsilhqot’in National Government, Water Stewardship, and the Ministry of Agriculture we’re actually doing a flight, “said Emily Epp, public information officer with the Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

“So we’re going to be going out in the area chatting with residents and assessing the situation. We will probably have a better sense of the situation this afternoon.”

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett who will not be taking part in today’s flyover said she has been in contact with impacted ranchers.

“Once again our ranchers in the Chilcotin are very resilient and they know that this is an act of mother nature and everybody’s doing what they can,” she said.

“I have been in contact with the road maintenance crew and of course they’re waiting until the geo-tech work can be done by the Ministry of Transportation. Once the geo-tech work is done and they get the approval they’re all geared and ready to go in there and fix the roads.”

“The CRD has their EOC open and anybody that needs assistance they’ll certainly be looking after them,” Barnett added.

“And as far as damage compensation, I am looking into the whole issue as we speak with the Ministry responsible.”

A flood warning for two tributaries of the Chilcotin River including the Chilko River near Redstone and the Big Creek above Groundhog Creek has been downgraded to a high-flow streamflow advisory.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff and maintenance contractor, Dawson Road Maintenance, are monitoring water levels. 

“Once the water recedes, they will assess the damage and prepare for any work needed to reopen these roads. This will include mobilizing the necessary road equipment in preparation for the cleanup,” the Ministry said.

“Where safe and feasible, work to repair these roads is underway. While the affected roads have low traffic volumes, they provide important access for isolated residents and camps.”