Mabel Lake road reopens
2:30 P.M. UPDATE:
The North Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has announced they are stepping down after days of hard work lead to the re-opening of the Enderby / Mabel Lake road.
The road opened early this afternoon and power was restored Saturday evening.
“Roadwork continues to move towards a permanent re-opening of the road access. The public is being asked to avoid this site if possible to assist in those efforts,” said General Manager of Finance for the Regional District of the North Okanagan, David Sewell.
Sewell promises that there will be continued efforts into the investigation of the causes of this incident as well as recovery efforts in the community.
“The Regional District of North Okanagan would like to recognize the significant efforts of all the agencies involved in the response to this incident including the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and their contractors as well as BC Hydro crews in restoring service levels,” added Sewell.
Resident Sharon Lancaster tells Castanet they are starting to breathe again after the power restoration and reopening of the road.
She described the moment power came back on in their homes.
"The restore of power was greeted by a loud cheer and applause from the guests at our home on Lakeview Drive. Within an hour the NORD and ESS personnel joined us for a late dinner after a 15-hour work day - most of it spent outdoors in pouring rain."
She says land line have not been reconnected and residents are forced to search for good signal strength on their cellphones to get a hold of loved ones.
"We are able to get a single bar of internet when high - on top of a hill, or better signal two kilometres up a logging road just north of the resort, that is now being dubbed 'Two Bar road'," explained Lancaster.
"As you can imagine, this single lane, precarious trail was busier than a two lane highway this weekend as we tried to connect with relatives and friends on 'the other side'," she adds.
We will have more updates for you as they become available.
10:00 A.M. UPDATE:
The Regional District of the North Okanagan is reporting that they anticipate having the road opened to single lane alternating traffic on a scheduled basis by noon Sunday.
11:30 p.m. Update: The power is back on at Mabel Lake.
"Excellent news! BC Hydro has now restored power to Kingfisher and Mabel Lake residents! Thanks for the work, BC Hydro!," Tweets North Okanagan Emergency Management.
UPDATE Saturday May 3:
The Regional District of the North Okanagan is sending out an update on the landslide near Mabel Lake.
They say the emergency response continues on the Enderby / Mabel Lake road as a result of the Cooke Creek flooding.
“As of this afternoon, roadwork is proceeding with a continued target re‐opening of single lane alternating traffic on Monday,” said General Manager of Finance for the Regional District of the North Okanagan, David Sewell.
BC Hydro crews are on site undertaking repairs and they anticipate that hydro may be restored between 8 p.m. and midnight Saturday night providing conditions allow them to complete their work.
“Supplies of bottled water and medical supplies in addition to generators are being staged on the Kingfisher side of the washout in the event they are required,” added Sewell.
The RDNO is asking the public to continue to avoid the area until the road is re-opened to ensure site safety and to assist in road re‐opening.
We are slowly learning the extent of damage caused by Friday morning’s landslide near Mabel Lake. Several hundred people living in the area are without electricity or telephone service after power lines were destroyed east of Enderby and many are stranded after the Enderby Mabel Lake Road was washed out.
The slide is believed to have happened roughly 23 kilometres from the town, near the Shuswap Falls RV Park. A developer at the site said he noticed the Shuswap River begin to change around 7 a.m. Friday morning, as it rose by around three feet and was caked with mud and debris.
BC Hydro is reporting almost 700 people are affected by the outage and they don’t expect to have the power turned back on for several days. Telus also runs its phone lines on the same towers, meaning they cannot do anything until Hydro finishes its work.
A massive amount of debris also fell on a significant portion of a bridge crossing Cook Creek. It’s expected to take some time before it can be cleared away to allow traffic to resume.
There was concern for one home just above where the slide originated, and that concern has now been compounded with Environment Canada’s forecast for rain this weekend. They are calling for a 40 per cent chance of rain on Saturday, and a 60 per cent change on Sunday.
A logging road that runs north from the Mabel Lake Golf & Country Club to Three Valley Gap near Revelstoke will be examined by the Ministry, and if deemed safe, it will become an option for any residents that need to come or go. Clearing the Rhonan Peter's Road, to make it drivable, will immediately become a priority.
Excavators have already arrived at the slide to begin clearing a rout for traffic, but officials admit the cleanup effort will take some time.
Send photos and video to [email protected]
-- With files from Wayne Moore.
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