Highway 1 between Chilliwack and Hope to remain closed overnight after series of mudslides
Officials working to clear aftermath of as many as 5 separate slides
Three people had to be rescued from their vehicles after several mudslides closed a section of the Trans-Canada Highway in the Fraser Valley on Wednesday night.
The road was shut in both directions between Chilliwack and Hope after slides in up to five different spots. The Ministry of Transportation estimates it won't be fully open again until Saturday afternoon but one lane should be open to alternating traffic by noon Friday.
Two tractor-trailers and a car were stuck in the mess when the slides hit, either because they were covered in debris or because downed power lines blocked the way.
Three people were rescued from the vehicles, but RCMP said no one was injured.
"Obviously people are fairly upset and worried," said Fraser Valley district spokesperson Jennifer Kinneman.
Mud and debris covers Hwy1 EB between Bridal Falls and Hope the Highway has been closed in this section since early this morning <a href="https://t.co/LgufeZseKV">pic.twitter.com/LgufeZseKV</a>—@MegsBatchelor
The slides also impacted Canadian National Railway traffic that runs beside the highway in the area and while some trains are still moving, there have been delays.
A CN spokespeson said rail crews were on scene clearing debris from the tracks and are expecting to work through the night.
The slides come as unrelenting rain and unusually warm temperatures continue on the South Coast, which has seen precipitation weather warnings all week. Environment Canada said heavy rain near Hope is expected to continue into Thursday night.
Kinneman said cleanup will likely take most of the day.
"There's still a large amount of debris and tree branches and mud covering the highway as well as downed power lines," she said. "It is a big mess."
This is a site further down the highway. There were 5 slides in total <a href="https://t.co/sS0hqBfKA6">pic.twitter.com/sS0hqBfKA6</a>—@MegsBatchelor
The spokesperson said BC Hydro, RCMP, CN Rail and the Ministry of Transportation were all on scene assessing the situation. Cleanup began just before noon.
DriveBC said the highway closure starts eastbound at the Highway 9 exit near Popkum and westbound at Hope.
Long line formed on Highway 1 eastbound due to land slides between Chilliwack and Hope <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcroads?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcroads</a> <a href="https://t.co/TmMOXQp5FX">pic.twitter.com/TmMOXQp5FX</a>—@MegsBatchelor
Drivers can get around the eastbound closure by taking Highway 9 to Agassiz, then taking Highway 7 to Hope. Westbound commuters can take Highway 7 from Hope through to Agassiz.
- An earlier version of this story said one person had been taken to hospital on information provided by a Fraser Valley Regional District spokesperson. In fact, no one was taken to hospital.Nov 23, 2017 12:31 PM PT