CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – A Liberal MLA seems less than pleased with the provincial government’s response to help those stranded atop Sasquatch Mountain after a landslide took out part of the only access road up there.
In a tweet, Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness said hundreds of people at Hemlock Valley, in his riding, had to foot the bills for a $150 helicopter each off the mountain this past weekend.
“It’s a provincial road … This is a provincial responsibility. We help people in B.C. who are in trouble,” he said. “These people are trapped with no other way out, the government should get them out, period.
Chilliwack Liberal MLA says he expects the province should cover the costs of evacuations off Sasquatch Mountain as people remain trapped due to landslides. Meantime – Search and Rescue in Squamish recovered campers from SV Road, for free, as they do every time people are trapped https://t.co/kG1DmqV8jK
— Ash Kelly (@AshDKelly) February 3, 2020
“I would further point out that north of Harrison Hot Springs, Rockwell Drive was also flooded and a number had to be evacuated by search and rescue and they were charged nothing,” Throness added.
Search and rescue volunteer teams do not charge for services in Canada.
Hundreds of people were stuck when the landslide hit. A ski race at the Agassiz resort meant a lot of people were at the top of the hill when it happened, and it’s estimated about 250 people have been helicoptered down since Friday.
Power is now back on, and the lodge is well-stocked with food, but for those not wanting to shell out the case for a ride down by air, it’s a waiting game until the road can be made safe for travel.
That isn’t expected to happen until Tuesday or Wednesday. Throness said he planned to follow up with the government until reimbursements were provided.
Meanwhile, the District of Kent has declared a state of emergency because of flooding caused by heavy rain last week. The mayor of Agassiz told NEWS 1130 on Saturday that about 40 homes had been evacuated north of Harrison Hot Springs due to dangerous road conditions and the possibility of rock slides.
-With files from Lisa Steacy