Mudslide near Castlegar, B.C. Air transportation provided by Dam Helicopters. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

VIDEO: Interior highway reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide has closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam.

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Playmor Junction (Hwy 3A and 6 Junction) in both directions just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

The highway is now open to all traffic.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is awaiting results from a site tour and evaluation that geotechnical engineers have completed of the Sentinel Mountain mudslide. That information will help determine a timeline for remediation work in the area and help the RDCK identify when the evacuated property owners can safely return home.

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“We have been working with experts brought in by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations to evaluate ground stability at the source of the slide and to see if there is the potential for future events,” said Andrew Bellerby, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Director. “Our goal is to bring the owners of the evacuated property home as soon as we can, but only if it is safe to do so.”

The mudslide occurred on Highway 3A approximately four kilometres north of Castlegar. The event led to a Declaration of a Local State of Emergency in Area I and an evacuation order for a single property that was at risk. The RDCK activated its EOC to support all agencies involved, including the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Forests, Land, Natural Resource Operations.

RELATED: Road repair needed for Highway 3A slide area

“When we get the assessment from the geotechnical engineers, we will be able to determine a timeline for rescinding the evacuation order and removing the declaration of emergency,” said Mr. Bellerby. “This is a good time to remind residents in the region to understand the natural hazards that may exist where you live and take steps to prepare for an emergency like a mudslide or a flood. Our website has links to resources that can help you be prepared.”

The RDCK has also issued an evacuation order for a single property due to the immediate danger to life safety in the vicinity of Sentinel Mountain forest service road in the Thrums area. The property owners have been advised. The attached map indicates the affected area.

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Slide near Castlegar, B.C. (John Boivin/Castlegar News)

Mudslide near Castlegar, B.C. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Mudslide near Castlegar, B.C. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Mudslide near Castlegar, B.C. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

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