Update, Monday, June 25, 8:20 a.m.
The Ministry of Transportation has just now finally put a hard estimate on the opening of the Trans-Canada between Perry River and Revelstoke, but unfortunately for motorists, it comes with a “low confidence” rating.
DriveBC says the highway could open to single-lane, alternating traffic at 2 p.m. on Monday, but again, that estimate comes with a “low confidence” rating and is dependent on ongoing rain conditions.
At this point, if the rain holds back, waiting for the highway opening looks like a better option than the detour. There is currently a staggering eight- to ten-hour delay at the Shelter Bay ferry crossing. That’s on top of the normal six-hour detour if there was no wait at the ferry – so about 14 hours. DriveBC is not recommending the detour at this point.
Also, Higway 31 is closed at the Gerrard Bridge south of Trout Lake. The estimated time of re-opening is 3 p.m. today.
Update, Sunday, June 24, 8:10 p.m.
PHOTO: Progress on the Camp Creek washout. DriveBC sent this image to the Times Review on Sunday at about 7:30 p.m. but the exact time it was taken is unknown.
Update, Sunday, June 24, 7:50 p.m.
Sonia Koziboykian, co-owner of the (appropriately-named for today) Noah’s Ark Resort has confirmed that work crews have made it to Camp Creek, the location of the second washout pictured above. Noah’s Ark Resort is located near Camp Creek. She said her husband and guests at her resort had been to the site and reported several pieces of heavy equipment making progress on the deluge at the bridge. The bridge was strewn with boulders this morning.
She said the bridge elevation was not very high off the river, so it didn’t take much to send the boulders onto the road.
Update, Sunday, June 24, 6:15 p.m.
DriveBC is now reporting Highway 23 South from Revelstoke to Shelter Bay is now closed due to a high volume of traffic at the ferry. Earlier today there was a four-hour wait at the ferry. They expect to re-open the route at 10 p.m. on Sunday once volume has subsided.
The Trans-Canada will be closed overnight west of Revelstoke due to the slide 25 kilometres west of Revelstoke. DriveBC is forecasting it will remain closed until sometime on Monday, although they haven’t provided an estimated opening time on Monday. They’ll update the situation at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 25.
A state of emergency has been declared in the Swansea Point area near Mara Lake. See coverage of that development in a story by our sister publication the Salmon Arm Observer.
Update, Sunday, June 24, 1:10 p.m.
DriveBC is now reporting waits of up to four hours at the Shelter Bay to Galena Bay ferry crossing as a result of the detour around the Trans-Canada mudslide closure west of Revelstoke.
PHOTO: DriveBC is reporting a four-hour wait at Shelter Bay after highway traffic was detoured across the ferry via Highway 23 and Highway 6.
Update, Sunday, June 24, 10:45 a.m.
DriveBC is now reporting two different mudslides have cut off the Trans-Canada west of Revelstoke. The first is 15 kilometres west of Revelstoke, the second about 25 kilometres west at Camp Creek. The road is closed between Revelstoke and the Skyline Esso due to this washout.
The geotechnical assessment of the slide 15 kilometres west has been done and crews have started cleanup. The estimated opening to single-lane, alternating traffic is 6 p.m. tonight. However, authorities are expressing “low confidence” in that estimate.
Crews are working on the slide 25-kilometres west of Revestoke now, but there is no firm estimate on an opening time. Authorities say an opening there will depend on further rain.
There is an alternate route via Highway 6 and Highway 23, but expect delays at the Upper Arrow Lake Ferry crossing.
Original story, evening of Saturday, June 23
A mudslide about 15 kilometres west of Revelstoke on the Trans-Canada has closed the highway until at least Sunday morning.
The slide came down at about 6 p.m. Saturday.
Transportation ministry officials don’t have an estimate for reopening. A geotechnician is scheduled to assess the slide at first light Sunday and DriveBC will update at 9 a.m.
There is a detour via the Shelter Bay-Galena Bay ferry. That ferry will be operating through the night tonight.
PHOTO: This washout on the Trans-Canada Highway is about 15 kilometres west of Revelstoke.
There was a rainfall warning in effect for the West Columbia today and the area experienced heavy rains at times. The rainfall warning was extended late Saturday evening and rain is expected to continue through Sunday.
Also in the region, Highway 97A between Sicamous and Enderby has been flooded and washed out.
The Eagle Valley News’ Lachlan Labere filed this report from the scene:
An evacuation effort is underway for residents along Mara Lake who have been stranded as a result of multiple road washouts along Highway 97A.
With the highway closed between Grindrod and Sicamous, houseboats and other vessels were heading out from Sicamous at around 9 p.m. Saturday to ferry people stranded in Swansea Point and other residential areas along Mara impacted by the rising lake water.
The Sicamous Seniors Centre is serving as a “comfort centre,” where evacuees can register with the Shuswap Emergency Program for temporary support.
VIDEOS: The Waterways Houseboats complex is overrun by a flooding river on Sunday. Videos from kellymdickpromotions
The first washout happened at Hummingbird Creek at about 4:30 p.m. The creek overflowed its banks and came crashing down on the highway below, and on through Hummingbird Beach Resort on the lake-side of the highway.
Swansea Point resident Tina Keely says there were two separate “breaks” that occurred up the creek, the first around 4:30 and the second around 7 p.m.
PHOTO: Looking towards the Waterway Houseboats parking lot south of Sicamous on Sunday. Local rivers overflowed and deluged the area. Eagle Valley News
“It was like something had given again at the top, like it was two blockages,” reported Keely. “The washout has washed out part of the highway between the fire hall and Hummingbird Resort, part of Hummingbird Resort is really badly damaged, it’s also running down the channel of the creek, it’s also running right down Swansea Point Road, it’s gone down Worden, down Swanson and all the way along Swan Beach Road. There’s a lot of damage. The boys figure (the water is) between 70- and 100-feet wide on the highway.”
Keely notes Lake Mara Properties has been opened as an evacuation point.
“But the police won’t let any of our people into that area because it’s way too dangerous, the current is way to fast,” she adds.
Meanwhile, Sicamous Creek also burst its banks and debris-filled water came flooding down into the Waterway Houseboats property. At around 8:30 p.m., work crews monitoring the bridge at Two Mile pulled out, fully expecting to lose the structure.
Keely says there’s been numerous accidents reported along the highway, including a pickup truck that went into the lake in Two Mile. The News, however, has not yet received any reports of related injuries.
The News will continue to follow the situation as in continues and provide updates when possible.