Travellers trapped in Hope, B.C. evacuate as Highway 7 temporarily reopened

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Town of Hope struggles to deal with complete isolation, and hundreds of stranded travellers' B.C. floods: Town of Hope struggles to deal with complete isolation, and hundreds of stranded travellers
The town of Hope, completely cut off from the rest of B.C. by landslides, is now facing shortages of food and medicine. Kamil Karamali reports – Nov 17, 2021

The more than 1,000 travellers stranded in Hope, B.C., since Monday when heavy rains triggered catastrophic landslides were given a chance to get out Wednesday evening.

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation said it was temporarily opening Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope to westbound traffic, after crews made progress clearing the storm-damaged route.

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Read more: Current status of B.C.’s major highways and roadways as routes remain closed

“This opening will be limited to westbound traffic only and is only open to passenger vehicles,” the ministry said in a media release.

“The intent of this opening is to allow those people stranded in Hope to make their way toward the Lower Mainland.”

Once travellers evacuate, the ministry said the highway would be closed again to all but emergency vehicles to allow crews to continue repair work.

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: History of the Sumas Prairie' B.C. floods: History of the Sumas Prairie
B.C. floods: History of the Sumas Prairie – Nov 17, 2021

Evacuees were being warned of significant congestion and delays on the highway.

The move came amid growing concerns over dwindling supplies at grocery stores and pharmacies.

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Earlier Wednesday, Hope’s small airport was packed with people looking to pay thousands of dollars to charter a flight out of the community.

Read more: Stuck in Hope: B.C. community rallies to help stranded travellers as supplies run low

Hope, a critical crossroad community at the mouth of the Fraser Valley, lies at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway, the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3 and Highway 7.

All four routes were closed, with some suffering major damage, as an atmospheric river delivered a deluge of rain to the region on the weekend triggering multiple landslides.

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