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

 

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

‘Epic sky palace’: Island businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan death

Man, 53, dies after reported assault early Monday

Police recover body of Tofino man near Hot Springs Cove

An RCMP dive team has recovered the body of a Tofino man in his 50s.

Tenant forced out of sewage-flooded Victoria building angry at ‘lack of human decency’

Woman says tenants weren’t treated like ‘human beings’ when forced from homes in Wellburn’s building

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Proposed development freeze melts in North Cowichan

Huge pro-business crowd at Monday night meeting carries the day

Victoria man out $6,000 in latest gift card phone scam

Fraudsters claimed to be a member of a bank’s “fraud sting team”

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Most Read