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Washout traps travelers

An aerial survey done upstream of a washout that took out the road to Clearwater Lake on Saturday morning reveals an emptied out pond behind a beaver dam.  - Hilary Barnett – MOTI
An aerial survey done upstream of a washout that took out the road to Clearwater Lake on Saturday morning reveals an emptied out pond behind a beaver dam.
— image credit: Hilary Barnett – MOTI

“We have approximately 40 people trapped in the other side, some are day-trippers, but I think between us and Clearwater Lake Tours we can keep them fed and warm,” said Merlin Blackwell of Blackwell Park Operations

He was speaking following a washout at Deer Creek on the road between Helmcken Falls and Clearwater Lake in Wells Gray Park on Saturday morning, May13.

“It appears a flash flood from up high. At 8:30 there was a road, a half hour later it was gone ... and the gully looks like it’s been pretty blown out,” Blackwell added.

The washout left several travelers trapped at the lake.

Cause of the washout appeared to be the collapse of a beaver dam upstream following heavy rain over the previous several days.

The travelers trapped at Clearwater Lake were able to resume their journeys when the road opened on Sunday.

An smaller washout affected the road to the lake several weeks ago but was cleared up before the opening day.

Wells Gray Park is located about two hours drive north of Kamloops on the highway to Jasper.

Inset photo: Deer Creek creates a nearly impassable barrier across the road between Helmcken Falls and Clearwater Lake in Wells Gray Park following a flash flood on Saturday morning, May 13 – one day after the road opened for the season.

 

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