Monday, September 27, 2010

Flooding in the Chilcotin along Highway 20

Reports are starting to come in from friends and clients of mine:

From Chris Czajkowski, heading home after her season at Nuk Tessli:

Sunday, September 26

I was expecting to drive to Williams Lake at 4.00am Monday morning to arrive at the garage at 8.00 for a brake job on my van . . .   That was when someone said something about the road being closed near the McClinchy Bridge.  My turnoff is maybe 100 metres on the Nimpo side of the McLinchy Bridge.  So I drove along in warm, quite sunny weather - the surface of the road was dry and everything looked  peaceful.  Then, round a bend, just a mile or so from the bridge, was a police wagon parked across the road.  The cop pointed to two orange cones on the highway - "half an hour ago, there were 5", she said.  


Monday morning September 27 

As of this morning HWY 20 west of the McClinchy bridge has a washout 1km long,  and just east of Wolverine Ranch, another patch several metres long has disappeared. Louie Creek has washed out, Young Creek bridge on the hill is compromised, and "several" bridges in the valley are gone.

Talking to Interior Roads, they feel it could be several weeks until the Bella Coola valley  and probably a week until the McClinchy section is temporally repaired.  We are OK. It is raining hard again - expect another 30 to 40 mm overnight.

Rosemary Neads. 

Monday afternoon September 27

Anahim and Nimpo are now completely cut off from the rest of the world.  About 1 km of highway west of the McClinchy bridge (25 min east of Nimpo) and a large chunk east of the bridge are missing.  Estimates are at least 1 week, if it stops raining and the river drops.  That snow on the upper slopes last week has all been washed away - nto our rivers.  Just on our deck, yesterday we had 2.5 inches fall in about 8 hours - and this was after the worst of the storm .  Anahim and Nimpo get their power from a diesel generator, and that is in danger of running out of fuel.  And no way to get any here. The highways trucks also are very low. There's a run on the grocery stores!

Bella Coola is in a far worse situation, so far as regular supplies.  Luckily, their fuel gets there  by barge.  But their highway is washed out in many places and a number of bridge are gone - the Bella Coola River has overflowed its banks in many places.  The community around Hagensborg has been out of water since Friday, but of course there is lots of rain water.  A major bridge on the Hill has lost its approaches, although the Hill itself is holding.  Estimates from Interior Roads suggest it could be as much as two months before everything is restored, and probably several weeks before even limited travel is possible.

Chris again.

Monday afternoon September 27

It was lovely and sunny this morning and the air was filled with planes and helicopters.  But now, at 11.30 am it is pouring rain again.  I don't think it will bring the river up any more because all the snow at higher elevations has melted.  But it will hamper rebuilding efforts as the soil is so saturated it will be unworkable.  It is a couple of days before we can expect the weather to clear.  I will be out of food in 3 days - so will the stores at Nimpo and Anahim so goodness knows what will happen.

Chris' journal on the flood.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Earthship building going up in the South Cariboo

This type of energy-saving and energy-efficient structure was pioneered some years ago. As the design and especially the materials used (including much use of used car tyres and pop cans) gains credibility, "Earthships" are becoming more widespread. As I write, one of these is being built on my doorstep - in the South Cariboo, near 100 Mile House.