RCMP offer to airlift people trapped by flooding in Cariboo

Local state of emergency declared for Nazko Valley

UPDATE:

The North Cariboo road maintenance contractor, Emcon Services, are reporting the West Fraser Road will be closed indefinitely because 75 metres of road has washed away.

The road is closed at Narcosli Bridge due to the wash out. A detour is available via Webster Lake and Garner roads, which have been inspected by Emcon.

Other road closures in the North Cariboo include: Batnuni at 79.5 kilometres (not a quick repair). Honolulu at 11 kilometres, and Baezaeko past Fishpot Lake.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A local state of emergency has been issued for Electoral Area I in West Fraser/Nazko area west of Quesnel due to flooding, with the RCMP offering to airlift those remaining residents trapped by flood waters to safety Monday morning.

The Cariboo Regional District declared the emergency Sunday at 11:51 a.m. and also ordered the evacuation of some areas in the Nazko Valley at that time due to “immediate danger of flooding.”

The evacuation route for those residents is south via Nazko Road to Quesnel. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has confirmed the Nazko bridge is passable and open to two lanes of traffic.

The evacuation order was expanded at 7:13 p.m. Sunday to include 74 properties.

The evacuation route for those residents is the Snaking River Forest Service Road to the Harrington Pit Road, then to Nazko Highway 59.

Nazko First Nation chief and council also issued their own evacuation order for their members Sunday.

Read more: Caution urged with flooding in Cariboo and Central Interior

Residents unable to evacuate are asked to please contact the CRD’s Emergency Operations Centre at 1-866-759-4977 and shelter in place until the RCMP arrives to evacuate you by helicopter Monday morning. A bus will be waiting to transport evacuees to the ESS reception centre in Quesnel.

To view a map of the evacuation order, click here.

Emily Epp, manager of communications for the CRD, is there are portions of the Nazko Road that are impassable due to flood waters.

Epp noted residents in the first evacuation order must evacuate south while those in the expanded order have no choice but to head north.

“There is a group of residents in the middle where access has been cut off and the RCMP will be offering those who wish to evacuate the option to be airlifted out,” Epp said, noting no injuries have been reported due to the flooding, however, structures are being impacted.

All evacuated residents are asked to register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) at the reception centre in the Quesnel Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Road.

Area I has a population of approximately 1,511 residents and is 11,947 square kilometres in size.

The CRD is also working with the Pet Safe Coalition Society in Quesnel to assist those wishing to evacuate their animals.

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The Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre shows helicopter images taken over the Nazko area April 28. (Cariboo Regional District photos)

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