212 sites of damage and a dozen road closures.
That’s what the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in the Cariboo is facing right now as a result of the unprecedented flooding we’ve seen in the region, at least in recent memory.
District Manager Todd Hubner says they have made some progress however, including in the South Cariboo…
“Bridge Creek rose significantly over the last few days down there right out in the Canim Hendrix area, so we worked collectively with our contractor and a number of other agencies on installing a temporary bridge through the Canim Reserve over the weekend.”
Hubner says the high stream flows and groundwater flows in the North Cariboo have woken up some historic slides in the Quesnel area as well, around the Knickerbocker area on the Blackwater Road, just north of the Cottonwood Bridge on Highway 97, and Quesnel Hydraulic Road is now closed…
“Originally it was night closures but what we found was that, as freshet progressed the slide activity in that area was just too unpredictable and our engineers made the recommendation, which we of course followed, to keep the road closed. We continue to monitor it and keep people safe by providing them with the alternate routing through the Forest Service Road system of the 2700 road.”
The Williams Lake cutoff remains closed, as the bridge is washed out between Highway 97 and Buckskin Road, but Hubner says there is a detour in place there as well.
Hubner says they are expecting more possible challenges ahead…
“I expect the water levels are going to be going up on the Cottonwood from what we’re hearing from the River Forcast Centre and Environment Canada. A lot of the snowpack that feeds the Cottonwood and the Lightning Creek area, Horsefly River, and the Fraser in general, all comes from the high elevation snowpack and that is starting to melt off now. With these warmer temperatures we expect those rivers to continue to rise over the coming weeks here, and we’re just monitoring those water systems accordingly.”
Meanwhile, Hubner says they continue to do mitigating efforts along the Quesnel River system, out near the Quesnel-Hydraulic area, and even in the Wingdam-Lightning Creek area around Roberts Roost on Highway 26, in preparation for higher flows.