With the third atmospheric river event headed for B.C., the province will again close road arteries and thoroughfares.
Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for a number of regions, including Vancouver, the North Shore and the Fraser Valley, with some areas forecast to see 120 millimetres of precipitation. The “prolonged period of heavy rain” is anticipated to last until Wednesday.
Some routes that were closed re-opened to essential traffic following the last rainfall event, but at a press conference today, B.C. Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming said closures are returning.
“Given current forecasts, we’re going to have to close Highway 99 once again, between Pemberton and Lillooet, that will happen at 4 p.m. today,” said Fleming. “Drivers should expect some delays, as all traffic will be using Highway 3 and Highway 7 in that corridor to move in-and-out of the region, as Highway 1 remains closed in two locations, between Chilliwack and Abbotsford and east of Chilliwack, between Popkum and Hope.”
The minister also said a travel advisory has been issued for Highway 20 and the Bella Coola Valley warning motorists not to venture onto the highway if it’s not necessary. Maintenance crews and avalanche crews are being staged along the corridor for fast response to conditions, he said.
Fleming advised travellers to drive with caution and expect delays.
“I do remind drivers that [Highways 3 and 7] are not up to the same condition before the first storm arrived two weeks ago,” said Fleming. “Some commercial truck drivers may not be familiar with these routes and we are asking everyone to please slow down, please be patient and accept that it will take longer and drive according to current conditions.”
⚠️REMINDER #BCHwy99 - Precautionary CLOSURE at 4PM PST this afternoon between #Lillooet & #Pemberton due to #BCStorm impact & heavy rainfall⚠️#BCHwy99 remains open to essential travel under 14,500kg until 4PM. Please be aware closure may occur sooner.— DriveBC (@DriveBC) November 30, 2021
Fleming said the province will re-open Highway 1 when “it is safe to do so.”
“We’re monitoring conditions across the province, including the mid- and south coast, the Interior and the north part of Vancouver Island,” said Fleming. “Crews and equipment are ready to be deployed in all of those regions as needed.”
There could be more closures if it is deemed necessary, according to Fleming.
For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, go to www.drivebc.ca/mobile.