A section of Mabel Lake Road near Enderby, B.C., that was completely covered with debris after a landslide Friday morning has been opened to single lane alternating traffic — a day ahead of schedule — reconnecting hundreds of residents who were left stranded.
'An ice-dammed beaver dam burst and sent the entire contents of Dale Lake down Cooke Creek' - Jackie Pearase, North Okanagan district officer
Hydro workers have also restored power to about 700 residents in the B.C. Interior who had been in the dark since a mudslide took out power lines along Cooke Creek, 25 kilometres east of Enderby.
North Okanagan Regional District officer Jackie Pearase says it appears an ice jam over a beaver dam thawed in the warm weather and caused the slide, which completely covered Mabel Lake Road and decimated a vital salmon hatchery.
"An ice-dammed beaver dam burst and sent the entire contents of Dale Lake down Cooke Creek," Pearase said in an email.
"The Kingfisher Interpretive Centre was hit hard and the fish are not likely to survive... "a terrible mess," she said.
The washout occurred at about 6 a.m. PT Friday.
The slide washed out Mabel Lake Road and a bridge spanning the creek, isolating about 200 residents on the other side.
Leigh Pearson of Vernon Search and Rescue said a huge amount of debris came down the creek.
"There was a bridge there that is gone, completely gone like there is not even a trace of it left," said Pearson. "It's big."
The washout likely occurred when debris, which was caught in the creek upstream, gave way under increasing pressure from the water said emergency officials.
Bottled water and satellite phones were flown in by helicopter and people were asked to conserve water and stay in their homes until the slide was cleared.