Emergency Info

Timely and behind the scenes information around incident response and events impacting travel.

The BC Avalanche Program

Avalanche Advisory site

Keeping You Safe From the (Tons of) Falling Snow Mountains are one of British Columbia’s most defining features, but those majestic snow-capped peaks can create some pretty hazardous driving conditions on our mountain passes during avalanche season, which typically runs from November to April. Thankfully, we have a team of fully qualified avalanche professionals keeping a close eye on weather and snowpack conditions to make sure they don’t pose a problem for drivers. And with nearly 1,400 avalanche paths...

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From Saturated to Solid – Peace Roads Repaired for Winter

Peace River Flood

January 9, 2012 It was an epic rainstorm and a marathon recovery…but things have firmed up nicely in the Peace. After massive rainfalls damaged more than 140 roads in the Peace Region this summer, the highway system is now about 85 per cent repaired, thanks to the dedicated work of hundreds of people including ministry staff, maintenance contractor personnel, consulting engineers and construction experts, local equipment operators and labour suppliers. People arrived from all over the Province to get...

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Avalanche Safety – Shedding Light on the Snow Shed

Have you ever heard the term, “snow shed” and wondered what it is? Well, it’s not a place where we keep extra snow. Actually, it’s more like a tunnel – a concrete cover built over the road to protect traffic from avalanches. Snow sheds are designed to withstand the incredible forces involved with vast amounts of sliding snow, however they’re not meant to stop it. Instead, the sheds deflect the snow, allowing it to pass over top while traffic...

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Fighting a Flood: Highway 20, One Year Later

Fighting a Flood - Highway 20, One Year Later

Just 12 months ago, Highway 20, between Tatla Lake and Bella Coola, was reopened after more than 200 millimetres of rain (a once in every 200 year event) fell over a 36-hour period, flooding the area. The route was impassable at 12 locations. Seventeen days later it was reopened. And, if you drove over it today, you’d see new blacktop coating the damaged sections, stream channels and crossings re-established and traffic signs, once half covered with water, standing tall...

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Resisting the Rising Waters – Flood Preparation and Response

In a recent post, we’ve talked about spring freshet. But what happens when water levels start to rise? As we mentioned in the previous article, the River Forecast Centre monitors snow levels throughout the winter and, as the weather warms, we generally have a good idea of how much potential there is for flooding in different parts of B.C. That knowledge helps crews determine the amount of sand, gravel and rock that may be needed to protect our transportation...

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Building Debris Fencing and Scoring One for Highway Safety

He shoots, he scores! The excitement of hockey season is really ramping up, and the tension builds with every shot on net and every goalie save. Here at the transportation ministry, we’ve got our own version of the game but, like everything we do, it’s bigger. Our nets are more the size of an ice rink, and instead of pucks, we’re catching rocks and debris. It may not win us the Stanley Cup, but we are setting records, and...

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What is a Freshet? Hint: It’s Not an Air Freshener

So, what is freshet? While it sounds like it could be a brand of scented cleaner or facial tissue, freshet is the snow melt that typically occurs from April to July, in B.C. Freshet can become a problem when winter snow packs melt rapidly, overwhelming stream channels and creating floods. Happily, freshet flooding can usually be forecast by monitoring snow packs and weather, and examining stream capacity data. In the event of a flood threat or actual flood, the...

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Emergency Preparedness Week is Every Day

A pile of rubble blocks the roadway, a mudslide cuts off access to a nearby highway, an earthquake crumbles the route you take to work… During Emergency Preparedness Week, you may be thinking about how such scenarios could affect your world. At the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, what some people consider an emergency is generally part of our regular business. Every day, we plan and take steps, knowing how critical the highway system is to British Columbians who...

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Are You Ready? It’s Emergency Preparedness Week

Are You Ready? It’s Emergency Preparedness Week

Emergencies happen, and being unprepared won’t make things any easier. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can really help and give you piece of mind. This week, May 1 to 7, is Emergency Preparedness Week and we want to make sure that you are in the know. Because of British Columbia’s mountains and coast lines, natural hazards such as avalanche, tsunami, earthquake, flood and landsides can happen. These hazards are obviously not in every part of the province...

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