Pickup truck caught in Columbia River after dam opens upstream

Pickup truck caught in river

A truck was caught in the Columbia River’s rising waters in Revelstoke on Sunday after an unknowing driver parked on the riverbed before an upstream dam was opened.

The pickup truck’s owner parked beneath the Columbia River bridge not realizing that an upstream dam would soon open and cause the river to rise.

“A lot of people don't realize, because they're traveling through on Highway 1, they don't realize that there's a dam upstream,” said Sgt. Chris Dodds from the Revelstoke RCMP.

“They push the button and it goes up and down. And it could be a trickle one day and next day it can be a full river.”

Dodds said the truck was parked on BC Hydro private property, with signage warning drivers not to drive down to the location and park.

“It's tough to stop people from driving down there other than with signage, unless they fenced it,” he said.

“That's private property. It's up to hydro.”

According to Dodds, the river level will fluctuate often, which can catch unsuspecting hikers who park underneath the bridge.

Dodds said it seems like at least one vehicle is caught in the river each year.

“People shouldn't be parking down in that area — they should be parking up in the designated parking spots and not parking down near the water at all,” he said.

“People should heed the signs and technically they could be charged under the Trespass Act for being being parked in that area.”

A tow company was contacted to remove the vehicle, but Dodds said it had already been removed by the time they showed up.

“We attended initially then we cleared once the tow company was called,” he said.

“Sounds like the somebody pulled the vehicle out for the guy — wasn't the tow company.”

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