All major east-west routes in and out of the Lower Mainland closed Sunday evening due to flooding, mudslides and rockslides.
DriveBC warned motorists of “multiple closures” due to mudslides, rock debris and flooding in the Fraser Valley, Fraser Canyon, Hope area and Coquihalla Highway.
Drivers were urged to avoid any unnecessary travel and to check DriveBC before hitting the road, given that “conditions are dynamic.”
The Coquihalla Highway was closed in both directions, about eight kilometres south of the Great Bear Snowshed, after mud cascaded onto the route.
Officials warned Sunday afternoon that it would be closed overnight, and that geotechnical experts would need to examine the site for next steps.
Meanwhile, Highway 1 was closed in both directions in multiple locations.
One closure was about nine km north of Yale due to a rockslide. The freeway was also closed in both directions from about one kilometre east of Chilliwack to Hope, and between Exit 146 and Annis Road.
Late Sunday night the Highway 1 closure was extended from Hope all the way to Spence’s Bridge
Highway 7 was closed between Hope and Chilliwack due to flooding.
Highway 3 shut down in both directions just east of Hope in Sunshine Valley due to a mudslide.
Additionally, Highway 11 in Abbotsford was closed between 4th Avenue and the Sumas border crossing.
The closures came amid a major downpour in the area, with Environment Canada warning of hazardous road conditions.
DriveBC issued an additional advisory for the stretch of Highway 1 between Lytton and Spences Bridge warning of heavy rain.
“Closure may result due to the risk of sudden debris flows in fire affected areas,” it said. “Motorists are advised to exercise caution when travelling and consider alternate routes.”
On the Coquihalla, the national weather agency has forecast between 60 and 90 millimeters of rain for the route, and has warned of the possibility of wet snow near the Coquihalla Summit on Sunday afternoon.
Melting snow combined with heavy rain “may lead to challenging driving conditions due to water pooling on the roads and reduced visibility,” it said.
Crews were on site assessing all slides, but DriveBC did not provide an estimated reopening time for any of them.