A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Joseph Trozzo)

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Wayne Walters was riding the bus to work Thursday morning along on a highway in the East Kootenay when a torrent of rocks and debris came crashing down right in front of him and brought all traffic to a halt.

“We came around the corner of the hoodoos and it was like a wall of fog,” said Walters, who lives in the small village of Canal Flats. “It was still rolling down the mountain, it was like a whiteout condition, and kind of eerie.”

The slide happened just before 8 a.m. on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road in Fairmont Hot Springs, about 70 kilometres from the Alberta border.

“A rock was in the middle [of the road]. A pickup truck was caught on the side, sitting over top of the rocks, pushed against the barricade,” Walters said.

“If we were just a few seconds sooner, we probably would’ve been with that truck.”

In an email, the Ministry of Transportation said an “earth slope failure” brought approximately 200 cubic metres of rock and debris, including two large earth boulders and some trees, crashing down.

As of 4 p.m. PT, Drive BC was reporting single-lane alternating traffic.

Doug Clovechok, the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke, said the highway would stay closed until a team could come in to do a geotechnical assessment survey.

“With the exception of a few rocks coming off, I’ve never seen anything that big before,” he said.

Clovechok said the slide gives residents in the area a better idea of what drivers in the larger region have to face on a regular basis when driving through Three Valley Gap, an area with a lake along Highway 1 between Sicamous and Revelstoke that’s been a rockslide hazard for years.

READ MORE: World’s most extensive avalanche detection system launched on Rogers Pass

ALSO READ: Two drivers rescued after they tried to bypass Penticton rockslide closure

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Wayne Walters)

A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Wayne Walters)

A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Wayne Walters)

Just Posted

Blue River Community Garden celebrates construction of screened-in gazebo

Volunteer fire department donates time and expertise to the job

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Food bank doing well thanks to volunteers and donations

Chair applauds staff for stepping up in time of turmoil

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Quality and safety of drinking water can be affected during and after floods

Most Read