August 20, 2014 12:09 pm

Mudslides between Cache Creek and Lillooet shut down Highway 99

Mudslides around Pavillion Lake have closed a 35 kilometre stretch of Highway 99

Part of Highway 99 between Lillooet and Cache Creek are closed indefinitely due to a number of mudslides overnight.

Drive BC says the highway is closed in both directions from Lillooet to 35 kilometres north of Lillooet because of the slides, and that there is no estimated time of it reopening.

There is no local detour available, but drivers are encouraged to use Highway 12 and 1 if they’re travelling through the region today.

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According to Patricia Heintzman, Chair of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional, the slides are concentrated around the Pavillion Lake and Marble Canyon area. They began at 11pm last night and were caused by thunderstorms.

“This snuck up on us because the weather was quite good,” he said. “Similar slides happened last year on the same sandy parts.”

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the slides “were the result of an intense storm cycle that went through the area earlier in the evening. This area is susceptible to debris flows under heavy rain conditions given the dry loose soil and lack of vegetation.”

A number of people were trapped between their cars between the slides overnight, but have since gotten out of the area. Some homes have also had mud and debris rush into their homes, but there are no reports of major damage, and district staff are assisting any impacted homeowners.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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