Hundreds still stranded after heavy rains wash out roads
HARRISON, B.C. -- Major flooding has caused several washouts on roads around Harrison Lake, leaving hundreds stranded in their homes and at Sasquatch Mountain Resort, as crews work around the clock to repair the damage.
A security checkpoint about seven kilometres from the town of Harrison Hot Springs is as far as people can travel on Rockwell Drive, but the road is still open in several other places where there is deep water running across it.
One of those spots is a cascading waterfall directly across the street from Dave Allen’s cottage. The torrent of water overwhelmed an underground culvert on his property.
“Well, this was a driveway here for our neighbours cabin and our cabin,” he said, gesturing to a fresh channel leading from the road to the lake. “As you can see, now it’s a river.”
Allen's big concern now is that another storm will come through and make things worse.
“I guess you’re never too prepared for what Mother Nature throws at you,” he said.
John Williams lives farther up the road, right next to a major washout which has torn up nearly a kilometre of pavement.
“We noticed that the creek had gone from where it was, running down the side of the mountain,” he said. “And the road slowly disintegrated. It started washing out anything underneath the asphalt and then everything just caved right in and it was gone.”
The he District of Kent has declared a local State of Emergency because the flooding and mud slides have damaged drinking water.
On the other side of Harrison Lake, a washout on Hemlock Valley Road has cut off access to a number of homes and the Sasquatch Mountain Resort.
Several hundred resort guests have been stranded, with many choosing to leave in helicopters.
According to Sasquatch Mountain’s Shelby Lim, more than 200 guests remain on site and are making the most of the situation.
“It’s been a really, really great display of community," Lim said of the incident. "Everybody pulling together to offer whatever assistance they can — supplies, and bodies, and labour. It’s a time when people pull together and make the most of what could have been a really horrible situation.”
The Ministry of Transportation says it could be several days before crews are able to make the roads passable again.