Rural Northern B.C. residents stranded after flood washes out road

Residents of Germansen Landing and Manson Creek in Northern B.C. are frustrated by the delayed response to fix an important forest service road that connects their two communities.

Residents and visitors frustrated by delayed response in fixing forestry road

The main road between Germansen Landing and Manson Creek in Northern British Columbia was washed out late last week. (Doug Thacker)

Residents of two rural Northern B.C. communities are frustrated by what they say are slow efforts to repair a road that was washed out on Thursday morning.

There are only about 100 people in Germansen Landing and Manson Creek — both around 300 kilometres northwest of Prince George.

The Manson Forest Service Road is an important route for supplies into the area as well as a route out. There is a second route leaving the area, but some area residents consider it unsafe, as it was damaged during the heavy rain this weekend.

On Thursday evening or early Friday morning, residents say a logjam further down the creek pushed water into a different route, ultimately washing out the main road.

They say it's been five days since anyone has been able to leave the area and supplies are dwindling.

"Right now, we're out of gasoline and we're almost out of diesel," said Mike McKone, who owns the Omenica General Store in the area.

"Our store depends on diesel-run generators to keep all the freezers and fridges running. Most people up here have generators to keep their homes and apparatus's running."

Resident Mike McKone says supplies at his general store are dwindling because the main road leading out of the area has been washed out. (Doug Thacker)

Bush pilots stranded

Furthermore, a group of around 30 to 40 bush pilots celebrating an annual get-together are also stranded at the townsite — at least the ones who arrived by car.

"We had lots of food," said Keith Munroe, the main organizer of the event. 

"But a few of them in there had some medical conditions. They're OK but they didn't take medicine for more than about four, five days and now it's going to go on longer than that."

McKone says he's not sure why the forestry road — which is maintained by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources — hasn't yet been fixed.

"I'm blown away that it has taken this long. It's not a big job."

Residents say debris from this logjam washed down Manson Creek and built up at the bridge until it forced the water into a new path, eventually washing out the road. (Doug Thacker)

When contacted by CBC News, a ministry spokesperson said staff were working on the roads over the weekend and will continue to clear debris this week.

The spokesperson added a temporary bypass will be built around the washout and a bridge on the secondary route is expected to be in working condition by Wednesday.

With files from George Baker and CBC Daybreak North.