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Four people now confirmed dead as a result of storm

Three men and a woman perished when a mudslide hit their vehicles on Highway 99 north of Pemberton; one man remains missing
lisa-lapointe-bc-chief-coroner
Lisa Lapointe is B.C.'s chief coroner.

The death toll from the atmospheric river natural disaster that rolled into B.C. on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 has risen to four — three men and one woman — with one man still missing.

Lisa Lapointe, the province’s chief coroner, confirmed on Saturday morning (Nov. 20) details of recovery efforts at the Duffey Lake area off Highway 99, north of Pemberton.

One victim, a woman, was found on Nov. 15, a second victim, a man, was found on Nov. 17 and two more victims, both men, were found on Nov. 18.

Lapointe said efforts continued on Nov. 19 to find a fifth person, a man, reported missing, but his body has not yet been located.

“Despite incredibly challenging conditions, the dedication and teamwork demonstrated by everyone involved in the search are a testament to the professionalism of each organization and I wish to recognize the significant efforts of our partners throughout this difficult time,” Lapointe said in a statement.

“I also extend my heartfelt condolences to the families who are now grieving the sudden and unexpected death of their loved ones and to the family of the missing person we have so far been unable to locate.”

BC RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the BC RCMP said the search involved Mounties, Emergency Management BC, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the BC Coroners Service and the Pemberton and Lillooet search and rescue teams.

Shoihet said the search for the fifth victim of the mudslide was hampered by weather and site conditions.

“Our thoughts continue to be with all of those who have been impacted in this terrible tragedy,” Shoihet said.

Search efforts, which included a police service dog, continued throughout the remainder of the morning of Nov. 19, but have now since concluded.

“All current search efforts have been exhausted and discussions are underway as to how, and when, best to proceed,” Shoihet said.

The area remains closed to motorists and there is no timeline as to when the roadway may be open.

Drivers should continue to monitor DriveBC for the most up to date information.