For immediate release
August 21, 2014
MULTIPLE AGENCIES ASSIST SLRD IN RESPONSE TO PAVILION LAKE MUDSLIDES
Lillooet, BC – During the overnight hours of August 19, 2014, an intense and localized thunderstorm caused severe mudslides at Pavilion Lake, SLRD Electoral Area B. The mudslides closed BC HWY 99, stranding several drivers, and impacted the residential community at Pavilion Lake, cutting off power and telecommunications. Lillooet RCMP, along with the Lillooet Road Rescue Society and BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure crews and contractors, immediately launched a coordinated response to assist trapped motorists and assess damages to the community. Rescuers were aided by a local Telus employee, Larry Messaros, who helped several motorists reach safety. A few homes and recreational properties were impacted by debris, but no injuries were reported.
Crews worked through the night to open a path for stranded vehicles, with Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation supporting telecommunications for officials and area residents. Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation also offered the use of their Band office as an incident command post. Emergency Management BC’s Central Provincial Regional Operations Centre in Kamloops provided interagency coordination, and ensured that all stakeholders had a forum to communicate essential information. Power and telephone service were restored to the community at approximately 3:00 PM, August 20, 2014. An exceptional effort by Interior Roads contractors saw BC HWY 99 reopen to single lane alternating traffic by 7:00 PM, August 20, 2014, though a full clean-up will take several days.
Mickey Macri, SLRD Electoral Area B Director and Pavilion Lake resident, stated: “This is exactly how you hope an emergency response will go – first responders working together in a difficult situation to rescue people, and make sure everyone is safe. The SLRD and the folks at Pavilion Lake are grateful to all those who responded, and for the support given by neighboring communities.”
Moving forward, the SLRD Emergency Program will work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to explore the implementation of weather/mudslide alert guidelines for the Pavilion Lake area, based on the geotechnical reports generated by Monday night’s events.
Emergency Program Manager
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Telephone: (604) 698-6442