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

Mugshots Cafe: renovated and reopened

The Fernie-favourite once again has its doors open to the public

Pick all your apples and save the bears

As summer ends, bears become more active looking for food

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. Premier announces fall election

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka reacts to election announcement

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Totem pole considered cultural appropriation removed from Nelson’s Hume School

The pole had also become rotted and was seen as dangerous to students

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Most Read