‘It’s closed for your safety’: RCMP ask residents to stay off Highway 20 from Bella Coola to 4 Mile

Bella Coola RCMP are asking residents in the valley to respect local road closures for their own safety Saturday morning, Nov. 28 as emergency crews clean up from a powerful winter storm. (RCMP Const. Rossi photo)Bella Coola RCMP are asking residents in the valley to respect local road closures for their own safety Saturday morning, Nov. 28 as emergency crews clean up from a powerful winter storm. (RCMP Const. Rossi photo)
Falling rocks and trees are some of the hazards facing crews on a closed section of Highway 20 at Bella Coola. (Conservation Officer Service officer )Falling rocks and trees are some of the hazards facing crews on a closed section of Highway 20 at Bella Coola. (Conservation Officer Service officer )
A heavy snowfall in Bella Coola Friday resulted in trees on power lines and the closure of 4 mile road to downtown. (Roger Harris photo)A heavy snowfall in Bella Coola Friday resulted in trees on power lines and the closure of 4 mile road to downtown. (Roger Harris photo)
Dawson Road Maintenance foreman’s truck was covered in snow at the end of the shift Friday, Nov. 27 at Anahim Lake, B.C. (Dawson Maintenance photo)Dawson Road Maintenance foreman’s truck was covered in snow at the end of the shift Friday, Nov. 27 at Anahim Lake, B.C. (Dawson Maintenance photo)
The Bella Coola RCMP closed the road from 4 mile to downtown Bella Coola because of the conditions Friday. (Roger Harris photo)The Bella Coola RCMP closed the road from 4 mile to downtown Bella Coola because of the conditions Friday. (Roger Harris photo)
A member of Ulkatcho First Nation measures the snow on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 showing that more than 60 cm of snow has fallen since a snowfall warning went into effect for northern portions of the Chilcotin on Thursday.A member of Ulkatcho First Nation measures the snow on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 showing that more than 60 cm of snow has fallen since a snowfall warning went into effect for northern portions of the Chilcotin on Thursday.

BC Hydro and Dawson Road Maintenance crews continue to clean up after a winter storm pummelled parts of the Chilcotin and the Bella Coola Valley Friday, Nov. 27.

While power is back on to many residents in the valley, Bella Coola itself and the 4 Mile Subdivision remains largely in the dark. Sgt. Richard Marshall of the Bella Coola RCMP is urging residents to stay off Highway 20 between Bella Coola and 4 Mile Subdivision as hydro and road crews work to make the area safe.

“It’s closed for a reason — for everyone’s safety,” said Marshall, one of many emergency responders who worked through the night after the winter storm dumped about two feet of heavy snow over the valley.

Marshall said a falling tree narrowly missed his police cruiser while he was out patrolling Highway 20 Friday, while a tree did fall on a grader trying to clear the road. Fortunately there were no major incidents, he said.

“RCMP and emergency responders are working together to ensure proper emergency services are available to the community,” Marshall said, crediting Emergency Health Services who responded to one call Friday night, as well as BC Hydro and Dawson Road Maintenance crews for their ongoing, heroic efforts.

“It’s amazing what they do.”

Conservation officer Hana Anderson has also been assisting during the storm, providing traffic control for the RCMP. One bright side to the snow, she hopes, is that it will push the grizzly bears to den for the winter. This year has been particularly difficult for problem bears with a total of four grizzly bears having to be destroyed due to aggressive, or habituated behaviour.

Highway 20 remains closed from Anahim to Bella Coola with no detour available because of downed hydro lines for a 138 km stretch. DriveBC will update at 2 p.m.

A travel advisory also remains in effect for 98 km between Anahim Lake and Tatlayoko road as of Saturday morning that will be updated at 10 a.m. by DriveBC.

Ulkatcho First Nation residents measured more than 64 cm of snow that fell at their community Friday while the Bella Coola area received 89 mm of snow and rain.

More than 900 customers were without power in the Bella Coola Valley Friday and as of Saturday morning there are around 450 customers still without power there.

Read more: VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

A snowfall warning from Environment Canada is no longer in effect for Bella Coola where it is now zero Celsius and drizzling.

“It is a lot nicer today,” Nuxalk First Nation member Roger Harris told Black Press Saturday. “Yesterday we were pretty busy standing outside for about seven hours turning people around because of the trees being down. We didn’t want anyone trapped in that area.”

Harris said he was joined by Wally Webber and Orden Mack who were helping him turn drivers around.

Environment Canada noted it is also zero degrees Celsius in the Tatlayoko Lake area and sunshine is in the forecast there.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Bella CoolaSevere weather

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo Festival Society president Robin Ford, left, and board member Chris Ford outside of Williams Lake Evangelical Free Church on Eleventh Avenue where a virtual version of the festival kicked off Monday, April 12. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune).
Cariboo Festival showcasing virtually in lakecity

Each performer was allowed one spectator and Angela Sommer accompanying them on piano

“These artworks combine the grittiness of our urban and port-side environment with the lightness of a playful and exploratory creative process,” note the artists in their artist statement about the show.	(Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Station House Gallery’s latest exhibit features a port-themed collaboration

Valerie Arntzen and Lori Sokoluk created the pieces when they had adjacent studios in Vancouver

Emergency crews respond to a structural fire on Highway 97 between Williams Lake and Quesnel on Friday, April 16. (Photo submitted)
Update: Famous Cariboo carver Ken Sheen’s wood shop destroyed by fire

The shop was located between Williams Lake and Quesnel

The city of Williams Lake has been doing routine maintenance to one of its wells at Scout Island as seen here earlier this week. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake residents asked to reduce non-essential water use

One of the city’s pumps is under repair

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

Demonstrators will walk through Vancouver for the first two days before boarding a ferry Sunday morning

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Most Read