The District Manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Highways in the Cariboo says the flooding on area roads is unprecidented in his time, which spans 20 years.
Todd Hubner says they are currently managing more than 80 sites in the Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House areas.
Hubner says the good news is that the number routes, Highways 26,97 and 20, are all in good condition.
But he says the same can’t be said for all of the side roads…
“We’re finding, the Nazko in particular has a significant amount of water on it up around Rainbow Lake, and it’s subsequently closed, and then at the Quesnel-Hydraulic just past the 20-kilometre mark, it’s got some slide activity occuring there which has prompted us to do nighttime closures, and then with detours on the adjacent forest service roads just as a matter of public safety, so that’s kind of the Quesnel area.”
Hubner says the big concern in the Central Cariboo is the complete public road closure for the 150-Mile subdivision which has over 200 residences in it…
“We’ve managed to pioneer a road in through an alternate number of properties over the last 24 hours with a collective measure between the local Regional District, the Williams Lake Indian Band and a number of residents and business owners.”
Hubner says it will be a while before permanent solutions are found for some of these roads…
“Our focus right now is trying to restore access. In many instance they are going to be temporary repairs but we’re trying to restore access to allow people to get in and out of their residences and communities and what not. Some of these routes, honestly, to get a proper fix it’s probably going to take well over a year by the time we go back and do the necessary engineering and get the approvals in place.”
Hubner says it’s too early to say how much these solutions will cost, but he says it won’t be cheap.
He says people will soon be able to get an update on the road they’re interested in…
“We’re working on a freshet button on Drive BC, and we’re working on populating that site as we speak such that people can go online and have a look to get a bit of a road status with respect to a particular road in question that may be compromised.”
Hubner says the problems on area roads right now is the result of the snow melt at lower elevations.
Depending on the forecast, from the River Forecast Centre as well as Environment Canada, he says there could be a lull followed by more challenges once the melt happens at higher elevations.