Forty Northern B.C. roads washed out

It will take weeks to repair multiple road and highway washouts caused by a once-in-40-years rainstorm in Northeast B.C.

Sixteen sections of Hwy. 97 between Chetwynd and the Mackenzie junction is washed out. Reconstructive work is expected to take several weeks.

Sixteen sections of Hwy. 97 between Chetwynd and the Mackenzie junction is washed out. Reconstructive work is expected to take several weeks.

It will take weeks to repair multiple road and highway washouts caused by a once-in-40-years rainstorm in Northeast B.C.

The transportation ministry says torrential rainfall has closed or washed out Hwy. 97 in 16 places between Chetwynd and the Mackenzie junction, North of Prince George.

A total of 40 roads from Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John have also been closed due to flood damage, with 58 sites identified so far in need of reconstructive work.

More than 130 mm of rain fell on the region.

At one point the flood waters from area creeks were running down Highway 97 through the Chetwynd business district, shutting the town down along with the highway.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom, MLA for Peace River South, toured the region with ministry staff by air after the washouts, to assess the situation.

“The damage caused by this severe rain event is extensive, and I thank all ministry staff and maintenance contractor personnel who worked day and night over the weekend to ensure the safety of the public,” Lekstrom said.

“We’ve mobilized engineers, equipment and construction experts from throughout the region and beyond, and we’ll begin to rebuild these roads as quickly as possible.”

Among the roads closed are Hwy. 29 between Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope and Dawson Creek’s dangerous goods route.

Motorists can also check www.DriveBC.ca for all updated highway closures and travel advisories.