Regional District gives evacuation order for 9 residences

Residences in this area are ordered to evacuate immediately as of 11:30 am Saturday, July 4.

By Andrea Arnold and Andru McCracken

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George issued an evacuation order for approximately 9 residences in the Mountain View Road area near McBride, BC at 11:30 am on Saturday, July 4. The order has been issued as a result of debris flow along Willox Creek that occurred in the early hours this morning.

Willox Creek and the affected homes are about 4.5 km up Mountain View Rd.

The district is asking those in the area to leave immediately and register with the Regional District by calling 250-960-4400 or 1-800-667-1959.

“The public is asked to stay away from the incident site and are reminded to exercise extreme caution near rivers and streams,” said Hilary Erasmus, Public Information Officer for the district. “High water-flows can cause bank erosion and instability including debris flow, and currents in the river can be volatile and unpredictable. Please avoid all rivers, streams and water bodies with rising levels.”

At least one home has been compromised by mud and debris from the slide and Goat Reporter Andrea Arnold is waiting for more information from the scene.

Don’t travel unnecessarily to the area. We’re told nothing can be seen from the closest available access to the area.

**Update** The area above the road, where the slide originated, has been assessed by a Ministry Geo Tech out of Kamloops, and there is a high probability of further instability that would initiate additional debris flow.  The area is being carefully monitored. So far, an estimated 25,000 cubic metres of material has flowed down Willox Creek and onto Mountainview Road.

“Once the weather clears and the area dries ,the ministry will clear the debris and open the road,” said Craig Chambers, Sr. Public Affairs Officer, Government Communications and Public Engagement with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.  “The maintenance contractor has mobilized staff, materials and equipment and is ready to remove the debris when it is safe to do so.”

For the approximately 30 residents on the other side of the debris flow, the instructions are to shelter in place.  Access will be restored when it is safe and at this time, power and telecommunications are still available.  The ministry, along with the Regional District and Emergency Management British Columbia to ensure all affected residents are safe.

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