Emergency Info

Timely and behind the scenes information around incident response and events impacting travel.

What’s it Like? An Interview with a BC Avalanche Tech

Winter safety

We’ve had a lot of interest in our avalanche program lately, so we thought we’d give you an inside look at what goes on there. Meet Avalanche Tech Robb Andersen. Robb’s been working in avalanche safety since 1994, and he’s been with the ministry since 2004, working the snowy slopes in different areas throughout the province. He was in Stewart working Bear Pass when they had their biggest winter in 30 years, and he’s also spent a lot of...

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Our Avalanche Crews Know Snow Flow

Avalanche Helicopter

How We Trigger Avalanches to Make Our Roads Safer for Travellers The snow falls thick and fast, and the mountain slopes become more and more unstable. Is it enough to set off an avalanche? Luckily, if you’re driving the mountain passes in B.C., you don’t really have to worry about it, because our avalanche and weather folks are on the job 24-hours a day to keep you safe on your travels. Apart from constantly monitoring the snow conditions, an...

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Disaster Response Routes – DO NOT Use in Case of Emergency

Up for a quick quiz? Do you know what this yellow sign means?Many people who see these signs on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland believe they indicate evacuation routes during an emergency situation but this is NOT TRUE. The Disaster Response Route sign actually identifies roads that have been designated for the sole purpose of moving emergency supplies, equipment and personnel during an emergency. They’re not the way to go when you want to get the heck...

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BC Avalanche Control: Exploding for Highway Safety

Our Avalanche and Weather Program team are on the job 24-hours a day to keep you and our roads safe. How? The best way is to show you. Check out this video and see first hand how we trigger avalanches and make our roads safer for B.C. travellers. For more info, visit our Avalanche and Weather Program site and for the latest updates, head to our Avalanche Advisory page.  

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The BC Avalanche Program

Avalanche Advisory site

Keeping You Safe From the (Tons of) Falling Snow Mountains are one of British Columbia’s most defining features, but those majestic snow-capped peaks can create some pretty hazardous driving conditions on our mountain passes during avalanche season, which typically runs from November to April. Thankfully, we have a team of fully qualified avalanche professionals keeping a close eye on weather and snowpack conditions to make sure they don’t pose a problem for drivers. And with nearly 1,400 avalanche paths...

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From Saturated to Solid – Peace Roads Repaired for Winter

Peace River Flood

January 9, 2012 It was an epic rainstorm and a marathon recovery…but things have firmed up nicely in the Peace. After massive rainfalls damaged more than 140 roads in the Peace Region this summer, the highway system is now about 85 per cent repaired, thanks to the dedicated work of hundreds of people including ministry staff, maintenance contractor personnel, consulting engineers and construction experts, local equipment operators and labour suppliers. People arrived from all over the Province to get...

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Avalanche Safety – Shedding Light on the Snow Shed

Have you ever heard the term, “snow shed” and wondered what it is? Well, it’s not a place where we keep extra snow. Actually, it’s more like a tunnel – a concrete cover built over the road to protect traffic from avalanches. Snow sheds are designed to withstand the incredible forces involved with vast amounts of sliding snow, however they’re not meant to stop it. Instead, the sheds deflect the snow, allowing it to pass over top while traffic...

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Fighting a Flood: Highway 20, One Year Later

Fighting a Flood - Highway 20, One Year Later

Just 12 months ago, Highway 20, between Tatla Lake and Bella Coola, was reopened after more than 200 millimetres of rain (a once in every 200 year event) fell over a 36-hour period, flooding the area. The route was impassable at 12 locations. Seventeen days later it was reopened. And, if you drove over it today, you’d see new blacktop coating the damaged sections, stream channels and crossings re-established and traffic signs, once half covered with water, standing tall...

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Resisting the Rising Waters – Flood Preparation and Response

In a recent post, we’ve talked about spring freshet. But what happens when water levels start to rise? As we mentioned in the previous article, the River Forecast Centre monitors snow levels throughout the winter and, as the weather warms, we generally have a good idea of how much potential there is for flooding in different parts of B.C. That knowledge helps crews determine the amount of sand, gravel and rock that may be needed to protect our transportation...

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Building Debris Fencing and Scoring One for Highway Safety

He shoots, he scores! The excitement of hockey season is really ramping up, and the tension builds with every shot on net and every goalie save. Here at the transportation ministry, we’ve got our own version of the game but, like everything we do, it’s bigger. Our nets are more the size of an ice rink, and instead of pucks, we’re catching rocks and debris. It may not win us the Stanley Cup, but we are setting records, and...

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