B.C. family stranded by floods shares powerful images of Coquihalla Highway damage

Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Documenting destruction along the Coquihalla River'
B.C. floods: Documenting destruction along the Coquihalla River
A man and his family living along the Coquihalla River have decided to document the destruction caused by flooding in the area. Aaron McArthur reports – Nov 22, 2021

A B.C. family stranded by floods is sharing powerful images of damage to the Coquihalla Highway, both to keep their community informed and to pass the time.

Jeremiah Steberl, his wife, son and parents live off the highway between Hope and Merritt, B.C. and have been isolated by damaged roads on either side of them.

After the disaster struck on Nov. 14, they started filming its impacts and sharing the footage on a YouTube channel called SteBros, which has nearly 4,000 subscribers.

Read more: B.C. to experience a ‘parade of storms’ as atmospheric rivers make landfall

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“Exciting things happen on the Coquihalla all the time but nothing to this extent,” he explained in an interview with Global News.

“We wanted to put it out there and just inform the people.”

Steberl said he heard from the broader community that there was plenty of flood footage from Abbotsford, Hope and Meritt — three B.C. municipalities that sustained heavy damage — but far less coverage of what was happening in between them.

He wanted to help fill in that gap with something other than aerial footage.

Click to play video: 'Military flight reveals extent of damage in B.C. extreme weather disaster'
Military flight reveals extent of damage in B.C. extreme weather disaster

Since last week, Steberl and his family have witnessed some extraordinary but “heartbreaking” events take place.

Some of the footage includes cars being washed away by the muddied Coquihalla River, collapsed bridges, broken highway, and an RV slowly being swallowed by water.

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“They ended up having to chain it to tree,” Steberl told Global News.

“A couple hours later, the whole RV was gone … If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe the river could do that much damage.”

Read more: B.C. floods: Highway 3 reopens following new washout but delays expected

Steberl, his wife and son live between Carolin Mine Road and Siwash Creek Road.

Their land has sustained minor damage, he said, but the family is well-supplied and able to evacuate by air if needed.

He plans to keep uploading footage until the roads reopen and traffic starts flowing in the area once more.

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