A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Joseph Trozzo)

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Wayne Walters was riding the bus to work Thursday morning along on a highway in the East Kootenay when a torrent of rocks and debris came crashing down right in front of him and brought all traffic to a halt.

“We came around the corner of the hoodoos and it was like a wall of fog,” said Walters, who lives in the small village of Canal Flats. “It was still rolling down the mountain, it was like a whiteout condition, and kind of eerie.”

The slide happened just before 8 a.m. on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road in Fairmont Hot Springs, about 70 kilometres from the Alberta border.

“A rock was in the middle [of the road]. A pickup truck was caught on the side, sitting over top of the rocks, pushed against the barricade,” Walters said.

“If we were just a few seconds sooner, we probably would’ve been with that truck.”

In an email, the Ministry of Transportation said an “earth slope failure” brought approximately 200 cubic metres of rock and debris, including two large earth boulders and some trees, crashing down.

As of 4 p.m. PT, Drive BC was reporting single-lane alternating traffic.

Doug Clovechok, the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke, said the highway would stay closed until a team could come in to do a geotechnical assessment survey.

“With the exception of a few rocks coming off, I’ve never seen anything that big before,” he said.

Clovechok said the slide gives residents in the area a better idea of what drivers in the larger region have to face on a regular basis when driving through Three Valley Gap, an area with a lake along Highway 1 between Sicamous and Revelstoke that’s been a rockslide hazard for years.

READ MORE: World’s most extensive avalanche detection system launched on Rogers Pass

ALSO READ: Two drivers rescued after they tried to bypass Penticton rockslide closure

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Wayne Walters)

A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Wayne Walters)

A rockslide on Highway 93, between Dutch Creek Road and Westside Road, in Fairmont Hot Springs on Dec. 5, 2019. (Wayne Walters)

Just Posted

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

Norm Scott, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch no. 91 in Lanford, pins the first poppy to launch the annual Poppy Campaign on George Baker, who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1953 to 1989. Baker said it was an honour to be chosen for something so significant for veterans everywhere. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Poppy campaign launches in Langford with pinning ceremony

The poppy campaign is officially underway with the first of the pins… Continue reading

A sentencing hearing began for Joel Conway who was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault last year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Sentencing begins for Saanich man convicted of sexual assault, break and enter

Crown is asking Joel Conway be sentenced to four years for both charges, to be served concurrent

A Sri Lankan cooking class from Ruwan Samarakoon-Amunugama, who authored the cookbook titled Milk, Spice and Curry Leaves: Hill Country, kicked off Food DIversity Week on Monday. (Photo by sailor first class Mike Goluboff)
CFB Esquimalt connecting workforce through diverse foods

Food Diversity Week runs until Friday

Coun. Tara Ney rakes leaves behind Oak Bay municipal hall. Ney’s motion asking staff to do a report on alternative options to the ongoing use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay a step closer to banning gas leaf blowers

Council leans toward a study on alternatives

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Most Read