B.C. extends state of emergency into new year due to flood-damaged highways

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A transport truck hauls a trailer on the Coquihalla Highway after it reopened to commercial traffic on Dec. 20 following extensive flood damage in mid-November ( Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A transport truck hauls a trailer on the Coquihalla Highway after it reopened to commercial traffic on Dec. 20 following extensive flood damage in mid-November ( Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press - image credit)

B.C. is extending its provincial state of emergency by two weeks as multiple highways remain damaged from November's catastrophic floods.

With two major highways still under repair and a continued need for public safety measures, the state of emergency has been extended until the end of the day on Jan. 11, 2022.

"While significant progress has been made in recovery and repair efforts, there is still more to do to reopen our highways and get people back into their homes," said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety.

The Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5), which connects Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley to the B.C. Interior, was damaged in more than 20 places after mudslides in mid-November knocked out multiple bridges.

The highway closed on November 15 and reopened more than a month later to commercial vehicles and inter-city buses.

Highway 99 was also impacted by a mudslide during November's floods.

The order restricting travel on highways 5 and 99 will remain in place with weight restrictions.

On the Coquihalla between Hope and Merritt only commercial vehicles with a minimum licensed gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms and inter-city buses are permitted.

The junction of Highway 99 and Lillooet River Road to the B.C. Hydro Seton Lake campsite access in Lillooet is open to all traffic, but vehicles weighing more than 14,500 kilograms are not permitted.

"My thanks go out to all British Columbians for their patience and compliance during these challenging times, and to the crews who have worked tirelessly to get these highways back open," said Farnworth.

For a full list of closures and advisories, see here.

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