Emcon Services operations manager Bill Pattyson, the road maintenance contractor for the City of Quesnel, said the West Fraser Road at Quesnel’s Deep Creek will remain closed indefinitely after flooding destroyed roughly 150 metres of roadway.
The road is a lifeline for residents on the west side of the Fraser River who use the road to travel south to Williams Lake and north to Quesnel.
“In this instance the ministry has undertaken the work themselves [to repair the road],” Pattyson said. “What we do is we follow the ministry’s direction when a big washout like this happens. They tell us the scope of work and what they want us to do and then we will mobilize equipment and start to repair it.”
Emcon Services, he said, is working in roughly a dozen other places where roads are completely washed out and bridges have been damaged.
“We’re currently mobilizing equipment from as far away as Fort Nelson into the area — excavators, trucks — and if it drags on we will start mobilizing other large machines from Merritt, where our headquarters is,” he said.
Flooding in Quesnel’s Deep Creek area, located 15 kilometres south of the city, is extensive, he said.
“Currently about 150 metres of road is totally missing. It’s just gone,” he said. “A kilometre south of that we have another section, about 50 metres is failing as we speak, and on the Deep Creek hill itself we have a 400-metre section that is sliding into the river.”
As of Wednesday evening, the CRD advised water had been receding in the Nazko Valley, however, the BC River Forecast indicated water was expected to rise again with upcoming warmer temperatures.
In the CRD, the Nazko area has been hit the worst with 120 properties currently under evacuation order. The CRD said at this point it is not planning to life the evacuation order because of the expected rise to water. The CRD plans to allow people back home as soon as it is safe to do so, as 120 properties have been evacuated in the region due to flooding.
Those in need of information, help or sandbags are urged to call the emergency operations centre’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977.