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B.C. government urging residents to stay off highways

DriveBC is showing road closures across the province as flooding, debris and slides are halting traffic on major highways.

The provincial government is asking residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

In the Interior, multiple sections of Highway 1 are closed including between Sicamous and Revelstoke as rocks and debris are on the road.

“Highway 1 is closed west of Revelstoke at Three Valley Gap due to rocks and debris coming down of the bluffs,” said Paula Cousins, Interior region representative, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. “It is currently being assessed by our engineers and we will reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

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There is also a closure between Revelstoke and Golden due to a rockfall. Travel is not recommended.  A detour has been set up with an estimated added travel time of eight hours.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General said in a press conference today that they have been working with local governments across B.C. to address the flooding.

“Over the weekend BC experienced an atmospheric river event caused by heavy rain and localized flooding. The province has been in continual contact with local governments and working to support those affected.”

Environment Canada has issued weather warnings across the province as well, including the Elk Valley, East Columbia, Kootenay Lake and a wind warning in the Boundary region.

If drivers are going to hit the roads, Cousins said they should prepare for long stops.

“Motorists should avoid Interior highways if possible today, but if you must travel be prepared,” added Cousins.

“Watch for pooling water, travel with a full tank of gas, food, water, blankets, charged cell phones and of course monitor DriveBC.”

Farnworth said he is thankful for all the hard work being done by crews across B.C. in their response to this weather event.

“Let me finish today by thanking local governments for their response and the crews from the ministry of transportation, search and rescue, police and firefighters who are out there on the front lines supporting those evacuees,” said Farnworth.

“To everyone dealing with this challenging incident, everyone keep working together, taking care and stay safe.”

Visit DriveBC for updates on road conditions and closures.

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