Mudslide travel advisory protocol unique to Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton area

Protocol appears to be more cautious than in 2018

Drivers checking Drive BC for road conditions may have noticed travel advisories for highways in the Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Clinton area. The advisories warn drivers for potential debris flows and not to stop during rainfall. It further advises drivers to plan for highway closure in the event of heavy rain. The policy is unique to the area.

It also appears to be a more proactive approach than the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure took last year when it said “it is not practical to close all highways in burn zones each time it rains.”

The area was hit repeatedly by mudslides in 2018 following the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017 that makes them more vulnerable to debris flows.

“During periods of potential rainfall, staff will be increasing monitoring and travel advisories may be issued to minimize the risk to the public,” according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure following the recent advisories.

“This protocol is unique to this area and has been prepared through extensive consultation with geotechnical engineers.”

In 2018, one of the mudslides swept a woman, Valerie Morris, off the road. No travel advisory was in place at that time. Her body is still missing.

Documents obtained by the Free Press through a Freedom of Information request surrounding mudslides on that day showed a MoTI Geotechnical Group engineer was not comfortable with re-opening some of the highways immediately after the mudslides. However, the documents did not mention the heavy forecasted rain prior to the occurrence of the initial mudslides, considerations of closing the highways or issuing a travel advisory nor any engineering assessments outside of a small area (10 Mile Slide) on Highway 99 on the day of the slides or the day prior to the slides (Aug. 10 and 11).

Immediately prior to those mudslides occurring, a ministry spokesperson was unaware if they would be issuing any travel advisories and that the spokesperson hadn’t been linked into anything regarding the Environment Canada forecast.

Following the slides in 2018, the ministry seemed to suggest there was little they could do.

“It is extremely difficult to predict where and when slides will come down and to close all highways downslope of wildfires every time it rains is not practical. We must balance the risks with the considerable consequences of each decision.”


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The aftermath of some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

The aftermath of some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Erosion following some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Erosion following some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Erosion following some of the mudslides in 2018. Obtained through FOI.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Firefighters battle blaze in downtown Williams Lake

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

The election has barely started and it’s already a farce

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

South Cariboo poultry swap hopes to become an annual event

The Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association held its first Poultry Swap on Sept. 15

BREAKING: Gilbert, Drynock charged with first degree murder of Branton Regner

The accused also face two counts of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

100 Mile’s Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen is leading the Tour de North

Nielsen is providing support to those riding in the tour

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read