Update: Trans-Canada reopened between Revelstoke and Golden

An approximately 20-hour closure of the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden has come to an end at noon on June 7

Update, Thursday, June 7, at 1:40 p.m.

Parks Canada says that motorists are currently experiencing only minor delays at the scene of the mudslide as crews continue to work clearing debris at the side of the highway.

Mud and debris are continuing to flow down the mountain, but decreased rain has allowed workers to continue clean-up efforts. They are working to clear out a containment ditch designed to catch and hold debris from the East Gate Landslide area. More rain is forecast for the coming days and crews are attempting to clear out the containment area in preparation for more debris.

Update, Thursday, June 7, at 12:10 p.m.

DriveBC is now reporting that the mudslide has been cleared and the Trans-Canada Highway has been reopened between Revelstoke and Golden.

DriveBC also reports that heavy traffic on the ferry route from Shelter Bay to Galena Bay is now clear.

Update, Thursday, June 7, at 11:10 a.m.

DriveBC is saying with high confidence that the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden will re-open at noon Thursday.

In an update posted at 11 a.m., DriveBC stated that the lack of precipitation overnight enabled highway crews to begin clearing debris from the massive mudslide that came down off East Gate Landslide on Heather Mountain near the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park.

Previous updates follow.

Update, Thursday, June 7 at 10:10 a.m.

Heavy rains lifted overnight, allowing crews on scene to start clearing the 400-metre stretch of highway that is covered with about three-metres (about 10 feet) of debris at Heather Hill.

DriveBC is now estimating a 12 noon (PDT) opening time, expressing ‘moderate’ confidence. DriveBC ranks their estimates as ‘low,’ ‘moderate’ or  ‘high’ confidence. ‘Low confidence’ estimates, as was seen yesterday, usually indicates the highway crews don’t have a good idea of when the issue will be sorted out. ‘Moderate confidence’ estimates, like the current estimate on this situation, generally indicate the re-opening will happen somewhere around the time they’re predicting. ‘High confidence’ estimates means it will almost always re-open on time and often a half-hour before that.

A local Parks Canada spokesperson told the Times Review she didn’t have further information on progress at the site, other than what is posted on DriveBC. There will be an update on the situation at 11 a.m. this morning.

The rainfall warning for the West Columbia that had been in effect for the past days has been lifted. In Revelstoke, the sun is peeking through the clouds.

A local hotelier told the Times Review the town was almost fully booked with a combination of early summer-season travellers and those stranded by the mudslide. The provincial mine rescue competition in Revelstoke this weekend is also set to strain accommodation capacity if the highway prevents travellers from carrying on.

Check back just after 11 a.m. for another update on the situation.

Wednesday, June 6:

Editor’s note: This story is being updated as new information becomes available. Times and estimated openings are being updated in the body of the story. The latest update was Wednesday at 5:20 p.m.

The ongoing closure of the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden will last until at least noon Thursday and could continue for the “next few days” said a Parks Canada spokesperson. The slide came down in the early morning hours of June 6 as the area experienced heavy rains during spring runoff.

“Heavy rainfall throughout the day that is forecasted to continue this evening is making clean up efforts at the site difficult,” said Parks spokesperson Jacolyn Daniluck in an e-mail update at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. “Traffic cannot be safely moved through the area and therefore we have extended the closure to noon tomorrow with an update at 8:00 a.m.”

The mudslide is at the East Gate Landslide Area, located near the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park.

The mud and debris field that covered the highway is about three-metres deep and covers a 400-metre stretch of the highway. A vehicle was caught in the mudslide when it came down but crews managed to rescue the lone occupant of the vehicle. Parks Canada said that person was not injured in the incident.

This historic East Gate Landslide path is 87 kilometres east of Revelstoke and has been active most years since 1997. Mudslides are frequent at the location during spring and fall runoff periods. A catchment basin was first built in 2001 and another one was added in 2009, but the flow triggered by spring runoff and heavy rains overnight overwhelmed the basins this year, flooding mud and debris onto the highway.

East Gate Landslide

A Google Earth image of the East Gate Landslide. The image was taken in 2004.

Parks Canada crews are currently assessing the area for stability “and then will work to clear the site with all available heavy equipment,” said Daniluck in a statement.

“This situation will likely continue through the next few days,” Parks Canada stated in a media release. “If it becomes possible to open the highway to single-lane, alternating traffic, travellers will be advised to drive cautiously and be prepared for further road closures.”

Parks Canada also won’t rule out the possibility that the highway will not be re-opened for days.

DriveBC announced the closure at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. They say the highway will be closed until about noon Thursday, but are expressing low confidence in that prediction. DriveBC is set to update the situation again tomorrow at 8 a.m.

The closure is also causing delays at the Shelter Bay ferry as many drivers are taking it as a detour, DriveBC is warning. The ferry will remain in service all night to alleviate delays.

The Revelstoke area was buffeted with heavy rains last night. A rainfall warning was in effect for the West Columbia at the time. Environment Canada has updated and continued the warning, forecasting 20 to 50 mm of rain today and tonight.

Daniluck said Parks Canada has photos of the overnight mudslide, but they are not sharing those images with the public.

For updates, check www.drivebc.ca, or call 1-800-550-4997.

With files from Alex Cooper

***

Did you witness the mudslide? Have images of the slide? Call the Revelstoke Times Review at 250-837-4667 or email editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

 

Just Posted

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Highlights from recent school board meeting in Revelstoke

Soon-to-arrive Syrian family, budget update, and upcoming silent action were discussed

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Special Public Avalanche Warning for Most Mountainous Regions of BC

Avalanche Canada is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry… Continue reading

Revelstoke developer frustrated with permit delays

Phase 2-3 of Mackenzie Village has been with city staff for 18 months

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms last stage of $381 million project

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read