British Columbia

'Debris flood' between Kaslo and Nelson prompts evacuation alert

Heavy rains Saturday night in B.C.'s West Kootenay region washed mud and debris over Highway 3A and onto residential properties.

Heavy rains Saturday night in B.C.'s West Kootenay region washed mud and debris over Highway 3A

This dashcam shot shows the conditions of Highway 3A on Sunday after heavy rains about 16 kilometres north of Nelson, B.C. (Steve Ryder)

About 30 properties are on evacuation alert close to Nelson, B.C., after heavy rains caused mud and debris to wash along roads and onto properties.

The rainfall Saturday night in the West Kootenay area of B.C. reduced the highway between Kaslo and Nelson to a single lane at times. Flaggers are on site for traffic control.

The affected area is northeast of Nelson, just west of Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.

Spokesperson Chris Johnson with the Regional District of the Central Kootenay (RDCK) said the rain flooded a nearby creek, washing out mud, branches and rocks.

"It just mobilized a whole bunch of sediment, which turned into a mess we call a debris flood," he said.

On Sunday as crews cleaned up the mess, the RDCK issued the evacuation alert for properties in the Morley Creek area between Sitkum Creek and Kokanee Creek.

Johnson said the alert was issued as a precaution in case there is further debris that moves through the area. There have not been any reports of structural damage.

"Mostly what we've heard of so far is debris in people's yards and driveways," he said.

Properties are on evacuation alert in an area along Highway 3A, east of Nelson, where a debris slide occurred after heavy rains. (Regional District of Central Kootenay)

He also said that some residents are having issues with their water supply.

The RDCK is working with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operation and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to further assess the situation.

With files from Bob Keating