A single-lane of traffic is expected to be opened on the Keithley Creek Road by as early as this evening or tomorrow morning at the latest, according to the Cariboo Regional District.
Four days was the initial estimate of a road opening after a mudslide stretching 100 metres long and as deep as three metres or more in places covered the road and impacted a property beside Cariboo Lake Thursday afternoon.
“Things are looking better than we thought,” said CRD Chair Al Richmond Friday afternoon, noting road crews were given the go-ahead to work in the area during the daylight hours after a geotech from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure determined it safe.
“Everyone’s doing the best that they can.”
Richmond said it is believed a beaver dam above the road gave way Wednesday, causing the slide. He said the same thing happened in the same location July 24, 1999.
No one was harmed as a result of this latest slide, however, it is believed the affected home did receive substantial damage.
Richmond said the residents are staying with friends as they try to salvage their fridge and freezer foods, meanwhile the CRD are trying to get them some financial help.
“We requested some disaster relief funding for those folks.”
BC Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure were also on site Friday. BC Hydro crews had to make the site safe for large equipment to start moving the debris material that included trees, rocks and mud.
The RCMP were also in the community of about 14 homes isolated on the far side of the slide and the residents are said to be well supplied and able to manage on their own for the next few days.
Richmond agreed that between the ongoing Puntzi Lake wildfire, last week’s plane crash and this latest incident, the district has had its share of emergencies to deal with.
“We would like a break from the disasters and so would our residents, but we are very thankful that no lives have been lost,” Richmond said.
On that note, Richmond is urging residents to be careful in the backcountry this weekend and err on the side of caution.
“It’s still hot and dry out there. Please, please, please be careful.”
Residents are also encouraged to sign up for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification system by visiting the CRD website at www.cariboord.ca or calling the office at 250-3892-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636.
To view video footage of the slide, visit https://www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations.