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Wilderness Adventures - Sept., Week 1/2010

This is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.


27/09/2010 11:22 AM

Highway 20 Closed in both Directions

I think Mother Nature might have a little beef with us in the Chilcotin and Bella Coola for that matter.
This summer it was forest fires that blocked Highway 20 both east and west of us for varying periods of time. Well, we've got the fire part of out of the way so now it's flood's turn.
We've had a really rainy September and had accumulated a little over 1 1/2 inches of rain and quite a bit of snow up in the mountains with only about three nice sunny days that I can think of throughout the whole month. Then weather forecasters began warning of a big system coming in from the Pacific that would drop a significant amount of rain on the Central Coast and Vancouver Island. Unfortunately, for a change, they were right.
The rain started Friday and didn't quit until early evening on Saturday but in that 24 hour period, we received over 2 1/4 inches of rain. That's a lot for us! But what made it worse was that on Sunday morning when we woke up, we could see that all the snow had disappeared off the nearby mountains. All of it. It was unusual enough that several people commented on it. And I think that's what cost us our highway.....
We had already heard reports by Saturday that there were rock slides on the Bella Coola Hill. That's pretty much normal of course and you would be crazy to travel the hill after it's rained a lot. But then Bella Coola got hit by major flooding that washed out Highway 20 all through the valley, took out several bridges, and put the airport and a good part of Hagensborg under water. They're saying that it's worse than the flooding of 1968, over 40 years ago and the only way in and out of the valley now is by helicopter or water.
We were considering ourselves extremely lucky to not have received the high winds predicted with this system but we definitely received the wet part of it when it stalled over the Chilcotin.
Yesterday morning Highway 20 washed out in several places half an hour to the south of us when little McClinchy Creek decided to become a raging river. My Mom and Terry B flew over and took pictures for me yesterday afternoon and apparently today, the condition of the highway is much worse.
One residence is under water and now it appears our phone lines are in danger of being knocked out by flood waters. Most of the grocery stores in our area have only another day or so of produce left and all are out of dairy products like milk.
Unlike Bella Coola where the ferry has said it will schedule more trips so that groceries, fuel and medications can be brought in, I'm afraid we don't have that 'luxury'. We do have the plane that comes into Anahim Lake airport, but it can't carry fuel and not even much in the way of groceries unless they put on a cargo plane.
I was told that the washouts and the condition of Highway 20 is far worse today than what these pictures showed from yesterday. The one washout now stretches for a kilometer and the ranch in the picture on the right is now flooded. Estimates coming in right now guess that the highway will not be opened for 10 days to two weeks.
I guess as long as the fuel lasts at the generating plant in Anahim Lake we'll have electricity, and most people are accustomed to being stocked up with food in their freezers.
A lot of people have been requesting information and pictures so I'm going to get this blog posted and pick up with a little more detail and more pics later. There's a real lack of information out there about our predicament right now and I just find it so sad that the newscasters are quick to pick up on the flooding on Vancouver Island and in Bella Coola, but made little mention of our situation yesterday and none today. As usual, nothing exists north of Hope. It gets a little tiresome after awhile. So in the interests of getting this out, I'm going to leave off now. Thank you to Terry Brandt for the aerial photos. I think more are coming tomorrow.

A long stretch of highway  20 is washed out
The last blog from a long, long time ago (I know, hair shirt required) can be found at August Week Three .




The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip of the iceberg, so join me!


Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Water has left a gouge in the highway.
 
Water floods over the highway.
 
The flooding river eats away at the shoulder of Highway 20.
 
A residence is surrounded by river water.
 
People stand along the river where it has eaten away a camping spot.
 
The highway disappears under water.
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