Drivers should plan for major highway closures this weekend in BC. The province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reports that due to incoming weather it is proactively closing Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, and Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet on Saturday afternoon.
Highway 1 in the Fraser Canyon will also be closed on Saturday as a precaution. The exact time and duration of closures will depend on the weather.
The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk.
The closures of these three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, with the highways reopened when it is safe to do so. Updates will be posted online: DriveBC.ca
Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope will also be closed on Saturday afternoon due to reservoir releases by BC Hydro, crucial to protect the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being affected by the heavy rains.
Each release will discharge additional water toward areas of Highway 1 that were previously affected in the Nov. 14 storm. This additional flow – combined with the increased precipitation and already high stream flows – poses a risk of impact to Highway 1 in the Laidlaw area.
A reopening time for Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope is undetermined as it is expected that these combinations of events will result in further damage to Highway 1. Crews will undertake assessment when it is safe to do so, and equipment will be on standby for repairs.
Highway 7 between Mission and Hope remains open with travel restrictions in place. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has special weather statements in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast from now into next week. Flood conditions may arise in the areas during the period of these storms. The River Forecast Centre has issued high streamflow advisories for all regions of the coast.
The Service BC Flood Response Info line is (toll-free): 1 833 376-2452
For a list of Essential Purposes for travel and routes to which the order applies, see: www.gov.bc.ca/floodresponse
For updated road conditions, go to: www.DriveBC.ca
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