Flooding closes roads near Williams Lake

Rains to the southwest of Prince George are swelling rivers and causing infrastructure fears in the Chilcotin region.

Repairs are underway to flood-damaged roads in the communities due west of Williams Lake, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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"The Chilcotin River and associated tributaries have experienced a one-in-200-year flood event, following more than 90 millimetres of rainfall in the past few days," said a ministry statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

As a result, there are closures on the following roads:

- Witte Road, 65 kilometres south of Alexis Creek

- Farwell Canyon Road at the 54-kilometre mark

- Taseko Lake Road at Stone Reserve

- Sky Ranch Road at Farwell Canyon Road

- Newton Whitewater at Siwash Bridge

- Word Creek Road at Gaspard Bridge

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure staff and the maintenance contractor, Dawson Road Maintenance, are monitoring water levels as the repair work is underway where it is safe and feasible to do so. Some areas of closure might have to wait for repairs until the floods have lowered.

"Once the water recedes, they will assess the damage and prepare for any work needed to reopen these roads," said ministry staff. "This will include mobilizing the necessary road equipment in preparation for the cleanup. "While the affected roads have low traffic volumes, they provide important access for isolated residents and camps."

Ministry staff are in touch with the Cariboo Regional District and Emergency Management BC to ensure residents and local First Nations are aware of the closures.

Motorists are reminded to check the status of road closures online: www.DriveBC.ca.

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