Updated 4:50 p.m., Friday, April 28
Eagle Bay Road is now open to one-lane traffic.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reports that a temporary detour route along the 6000 block of Eagle Bay Road is now open and will remain open 24 hours per day until further notice.
The detour allows for single-lane alternating traffic only. The detour is open to passenger vehicles and light duty trucks only. Heavy trucks and vehicles towing trailers are not permitted at this time.
Motorists are advised that minor delays up to 30 minutes should be expected. The ministry requests that local traffic only access the detour route and that motorists use extreme caution when travelling over the detour section of the road.
Members of the public are advised to remain away from the area.
For information on road conditions and events, the ministry has a toll free line at 1-800-550-4997.
Further updates will be provided as soon as new information becomes available.
Updated 3:40 pm., Friday, April 28
A temporary detour re-route along the 6000 block of Eagle Bay Road should be completed by 5 p.m. this evening, dependent on current progress.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure crews advise that the detour will only allow for single-lane, alternating traffic.
Only passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks are permitted to cross the detour area.
Vehicles towing trailers are not permitted to cross the detour.
Traffic control personnel will be on the site 24-hours per day and drivers can expect up to 15 minute delays.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure request that local traffic only access the detour route and that drivers use extreme caution when travelling over the detour section of the road.
Members of the general public are still advised to remain away from the area.
Updated 1:30 p.m., Friday, April 28
Crews on Eagle Bay Road appear to have their work cut out for them today as they construct a way for the public to get across the road where water and debris cut a swath, destroying a large section.
The Shuswap Emergency Program reports Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is working to create a temporary single lane detour re-route along the road but no official estimate of when it will be complete has been given.
However, a resident stuck on the eastern side says they were told a temporary one-way road is expected to be ready later today.
Members of the public are asked to avoid the area.
Updated 9:25 a.m., Friday, April 28
It is not known how many people may be stranded on the east side of the road washout on Eagle Bay Road.
Ryan Nitchie, an information officer with the Shuswap Emergency Program, says there are 318 residences on the blocked side of the washout, but because many of them are seasonal, there is no accurate estimate on how many people might be cut off.
The only access around the washout area right now is by boat on Shuswap Lake.
No one has been evacuated as a result of the slide.
While there has been some minor damage of homes in the area of 6111 Eagle Bay Road, Nitchie says there has been no extensive damage to property reported at this time. There are area with a considerable amount of mud in resident’s yards.
Nitchie notes there are protocols in place to deal with any medical emergency which could happen on the east side of the slide area.
“BC Ambulance has protocols in place to get medical help in if necessary. There are resources by boat through a Partnership with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and a helicopter can also be called on.”
There is no fire service to the east side at the moment.
“If there is an emergency, 911 is the place to call,” says Nitchie.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure crews are already at the site this morning and beginning mitigation work and are determining the best way to create an alternative road access.
“They are draining backed up water and debris out of a blocked culvert, and hopefully that will ease some of the pressure of the water and put it back into a safe channel,” added Nitchie.
Updated 5 a.m., Friday, April 28
Eagle Bay road will remain closed until further notice after it was determined additional groundwork is needed to stabilize the area.
A preliminary geotechnical assessment was conducted by helicopter on Thursday evening and found stabilization measures to mitigate the water flow in the area are required before any detour road route can be constructed.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure crews are expected to begin work in the area on Friday morning.
Members of the public are advised to avoid the area.
It is not known how long it will take for an alternate road route to be constructed.
Currently the only way people on the far side of the slide can get in out of the area is by boat on Shuswap Lake.
The Shuswap Emergency Program continues to offer support to residents in the area of 6111 Eagle Bay Road.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., Thursday a sudden substantial increase in creek flow overwhelmed a culvert near 6111 Eagle Bay Road causing water to flow over the road and along the adjacent ditch. The creek has completely compromised the road resulting in a road closure.
No injuries have been reported, although it appears some homes have been damaged by the water flows.
Residents seeking information or requiring Emergency Support Services are advised to contact the Emergency Operations Centre set up by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District at 250-517-8071.
Updated 7:53 p.m.:
Residents stranded on the far side of Eagle Bay Road are being advised to stay in place.
“We would like everyone to remain where they are and wait for further information. We should have a clearer picture after the ministry takes a better look,” says Ryan Nitchie, an information officer with the Shuswap Emergency Program.
A helicopter was being used by Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure workers Thursday evening to assess a creek and the water situation at higher elevations.
Currently the only access around the blocked road is by boat on Shuswap Lake.
Updated 6:56 p.m.:
According to area resident Terry Clark, the RCMP have gone door to door in the area near the washout and have confirmed all at-risk homes, particularly the one with the damaged propane tank are empty.
“The house, I’m not sure what the lady’s name is, they took off to town. Thank god they weren’t around there,” he said.
Clark praised the quick response time of the RCMP and other emergency services.
Updated 6:47 p.m.:
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure crews are on scene evaluating the incident.
The Shuswap Emergency Program has activated an Emergency Operations Centre as well as a comfort centre for residents affected by the washout. The comfort centre is located at at the Eagle Bay Community Hall; 4326 Eagle Bay Road. Emergency Support Services personnel will be available to provide information on the incident.
Updated 6:15 p.m.:
Reports from the scene indicate a large portion of Eagle Bay Road is washed out, temporarily cutting off road access to those on the far side.
“It’s about 20 feet of road and last we checked the ditch is probably about 30 feet deep,” said Marc Zaichkowsky, a Captain with the Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Department who is one of a 14-man construction crew currently stranded at their job site by the damaged road.
Zaichkowsky said the washout is in the vicinity of 6111 Eagle Bay Road; he is unaware of any injuries resulting from washout.
He said the main stream which washed out the road did not affect any houses, but water flowing down a drainage ditch has washed onto a property, knocking a house’s propane tank loose. Zaichkowsky said he is unaware of the extent of the damage to the house.
“Due to my connections on the department I got the ball rolling with emergency services and everything involved with that because we were first on scene pretty much there,” Zaichkowsky said.
He estimates two dozen construction workers as well as an unknown number of residents are stranded on Eagle Bay Road beyond the washout.
Zaichowsky and the rest of his construction crew plan to get out of the area by boat tonight.
More to come.
A landslide has been reported in the Eagle Bay area.
At approximately 3 p.m., JPW Road crews reported a mudslide in the Eagle Bay area. It is reported to be in the area of the 6000 block of Eagle Bay Road near Armstrong Road, east of Cinnemousun Narrows Provincial Park.
Reports indicate the road has been totally washed out at this time, but there are no indications anyone has been injured or that there has been damage to residences.
The Eagle Bay Volunteer Fire Department and CSRD fire services have responded. It is not known what plans will be in place to restore transportation access for residents on the blocked off side of the slide.
The Observer is contacting sources and awaiting confirmation of details.
More to come.