VANCOUVER – A series of mudslides that rolled over Highway 1 in British Columbia’s eastern Fraser Valley won’t be cleared away until Friday.
The muck and debris is creating delays for both drivers and rail traffic.
Fraser Valley Regional District spokeswoman Jennifer Kinneman said the slides came down early Thursday in several locations on the Trans-Canada about 120 kilometres east of Vancouver.
“It’s a fairly long stretch of the highway and I understand there were five separate points where there was a mudslide on that road,” she said.
Kinneman said the nearby Popkum Fire Department responded to the first calls for help because some drivers and passengers in vehicles were stranded by debris or power lines that had come down.
An RCMP news release said there were no injuries reported.
The slide has also impacted Canadian National Railway traffic that runs beside the highway in the area and while some trains are still moving, there have been delays.
A CN spokeswoman said rail crews were on the scene clearing debris from the tracks and are expecting to work through the night.
DriveBC, the Transportation Ministry’s road information branch, said geotechnical experts assessed the stability of slopes along the highway on Thursday, the cleanup is in progress and the estimated time of reopening is noon on Friday.
A detour is available via Highways 7 and 9 through Agassiz and the lines were long on the route on Thursday afternoon.
Environment Canada lifted a rainfall warning on Thursday for eastern sections of the Fraser Valley that had been deluged with rain over the past several days.
A mudslide also closed Highway 40 west of Lillooet on Thursday, but it was reopened by late afternoon.