AGASSIZ (NEWS 1130) — People in the Fraser Valley north of Agassiz are being forced from their homes and many remain stranded at a local ski resort.
A state of emergency has been declared in the District of Kent, which is the rural area surrounding Agassiz.
TRAVEL ADVISORY – Rockwell Dr between Dogwood Lane and Rockwell Lane is closed due a washout after heavy rainfall (120-140mm). No detour. Rockwell accessible via Green Point. We’re assessing and working with District of Kent on resident evacuation #Agassiz https://t.co/7xk7FbJZzL
— BC Transportation (@TranBC) February 2, 2020
Mayor Sylvia Pranger tells NEWS 1130 Saturday evening that about 40 homes are being evacuated along Rockwell Drive, north of Harrison Hot Springs.
“Because the road is compromised, because of rock slides, the mountain isn’t very stable and we want to ensure that our residents are safe,” she says. “At the moment, search and rescue along with the RCMP are evacuating those that can’t drive out.”
Emergency Social Services is helping those displaced find somewhere to stay.
Heavy rains and winds led to landslides and localized flooding. B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is assisting with evacuation efforts, and assessing how to proceed in order to safely reopen the road.
Drinking water in the area has been cut off due to a water main break.
Pranger says because there is only the one road into the area, the evacuations are likely to be slow.
Visitors to the area’s Sasquatch Mountain Resort are stranded and people who want to drive out of the resort could face a wait of six days.
“It must be an eerie feeling, you can’t just drive out the way you came in,” Stranger says, adding the resort is well stocked and a lot of visitors to the mountain have condos there.
The resort’s’s website says helicopter rides to Chilliwack are available for $150 per person.
Hydro is out for several thousand customers in the area, including nearby Chilliwack and Hope.
Crews hope to begin helicopter patrols tomorrow morning for customers on Sasquatch Mountain. We’ll continue to provide individual restoration times as they become available on our mobile website at https://t.co/JY7BGL1bO4. We appreciate your patience at this time. pic.twitter.com/zLxfF9cOLU
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) February 2, 2020
Meantime, a similar state of emergency remains in effect for the Cowichan Valley although the highway has reopened and the people evacuated have been safely relocated.
“The threat of further flooding has subsided, the Cowichan Valley will remain in a state of local emergency until further notice. Flaggers on now on scene at several flooded roadways to direct traffic around road closures. The emergency reception centre at the Cowichan Community Centre will be closing imminently, as nearly all residents who were utilizing the centre have all now been accommodated in other places,” reads a release.