Penticton & South Okanagan News
Hwy 3 to remain closed
Update Jan. 29, 9 a.m.
According to DriveBC, Highway 3 will remain closed for at least the rest of the morning. It is recommended eastbound traffic detour via Hwy 5A, Hwy 97C and Hwy 97 and westbound traffic detour via Hwy 97, Hwy 97C, and Hwy 5A and Hwy 3.
No opening time has been indicated. DriveBC will update the situation again at noon.
Update Jan 28, 2:30 p.m.
Highway 3 will remain closed overnight while the Ministry of Transportation continues to deal with a rock slide west of Keremeos. According to Drive BC, no estimated time of re-opening has been determined, however, they are scheduled to update the situation again by 8:30 Wednesday morning.
Update Jan. 28, 11 a.m.
Highway 3 remains closed in both directions. Detour available via Hwy 5A and Hwy 3A. There is not word on when the highway may be passable again.
The two vehicles damaged in the slide have been removed from the area to a tow yard in Keremeos.
Update 4:30 p.m.
Dave Swales, with the Ministry of Transportation, says the large rock slide took place near Keremeos, just after 12 p.m.
"There is 400 to 500 cubic meters on the Highway 3, with some rocks as big as cars. The source appears to be the peak above the road," he explains.
Two vehicles were hit by the falling debris and one woman was taken to hospital in Princeton, while all other occupants are reported to be okay.
Swales says the area is still active, so the highway will remain closed overnight. A geotechnical assessment from the air will take place at first light on Tuesday.
According to Swales he couldn't recall a slide of this magnitude before in the area.
If you were caught up in the slide we'd like to hear your story, email us at [email protected]
-With files from Deborah Pfeiffer
Update: FortisBC says there are still 176 customers without power, following Monday's rock slide. Crews are working to restore the power, however a time estimate could not be given.
Hundreds of people are without power in the southwest portion of the Okanagan, after a large rockslide occurred alongside Highway 3 around 12 p.m.
Grace Pickell with FortisBC says power was lost for 1,500 homes when the rockslide took out transmission lines somewhere between Hedley and Princeton.
“Our crews are still on site and they’re assessing the situation and continuing to isolate where the damage is to try and continue to get customers back with power this afternoon,” she says.
Power had been returned to roughly 1,000 people by 1 p.m., and Pickell says there were only 280 homes still in the dark by 1:45 p.m.
However, they are uncertain when power will be restored to those remaining homes.
DriveBC is also reporting the rockslide has closed the highway, 18 kilometres west of Keremeos. There are reports that three vehicles were caught in the slide and one person has been taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Cst. Lesley Smith of the RCMP says the slide is reportedly 150 meters wide, and witnesses have said some of the boulders are the size of a truck.
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