Forest fires cut off Bella Coola last summer. Now, heavy rains have isolated the tiny Central Coast community once again.

Area locals, who number about 1,900 people, said Monday they are anticipating a long, lonely winter after what they've endured in recent months.

Bella Coola, located 1,039 kilometres northwest of Victoria, was hit by a massive rain and wind storm that washed out and damaged Highway 20 and flooded the Bella Coola's airport.

"I've never seen it like this and I've lived here all my life," said Sherry Fontaine, 37. "So much water and so much damage."

Transportation Ministry officials did an aerial survey of the storm damage and concluded that Highway 20, which runs through the Cariboo-Chilcotin near Williams Lake to Bella Coola on the coast, sustained severe flood, tree and washout damage in at least four locations.

Jeff Knight, spokesman for the Transportation Ministry, said the highway will be closed indefinitely and it may be several days before officials can estimate when the road will re-open.

Fontaine said her home was not damaged and she is not personally worried about the main transportation artery being severed, but some locals are concerned because the only way in or out of Bella Coola at the moment is by water.

Bella Coola is a regular B.C. Ferries stop and more passengers and supplies are expected, said Fontaine.

"Since (the highway) is our lifeline for not only transportation, but groceries and etcetera, it's pretty bad," she said. "And considering our airport is not open either because it was flooded as well, it's a pretty desperate situation."

Gary Coons, the New Democrat who represents the Bella Coola area, said he is in steady contact with local emergency officials who are currently still attempting to assess the damage.

Coons said Bella Coola has been hard hit by Mother Nature this year. Earlier this summer, encroaching forest fires and heavy smoke from the fires forced some evacuations.

Several other B.C. communities also remain virtually isolated after a series of torrential fall rain storms.

The main road into Port Alice, on northern Vancouver Island, is closed indefinitely after heavy rains triggered a mud slide near the pulp mill town, including one at the entrance to Port Alice.

A flooding state of emergency at Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island was lifted and residents of Kingcome Inlet north of Powell River are returning home after being airlifted out on the weekend.