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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

A philanthropic twist on Fernie’s Australia Day festivities

Various local businesses hosted events and fundraisers for the Australian bushfires

The FSA Gumball Challenge back for round two

The snowmobile event will cover hundreds of acres of terrain

Fernie SAR responds to injured skier

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated on January 27 after receiving… Continue reading

International Snow Science Workshop coming to Fernie

World leaders in the snow industry will be flocking to Fernie in… Continue reading

Teck donates land to Elkford Housing Society

The land donation ceremony took place on January 16

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

VIDEO: Canada looking to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Watch out for scams, clickbait in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death: Better Business Bureau

Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Most Read