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Monsoon-like weather may force overnight closure of Kootenay Pass

The Kootenay Pass summit was a bit of a slushy mess Tuesday afternoon. — Photo courtesy DriveBC

Unseasonably high temperatures and heavy precipitation coupled with recent increased snowpack, and forecasted 40mm of rain, will cause an increase in avalanche hazard over Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 starting tonight said Katie Ward, Operations Manager-Central Kootenay MOTI West Kootenay District.

"It is very likely the conditions will force the closure of Kootenay Pass for the duration of the night," Ward said in a media release.

"It is highly likely that we will be seeing avalanches occurring that will affect the highway at Kootenay Pass."

Ward said the avalanche technicians will be on site throughout the night and will continue to assess, implement avalanche control procedures and provide Drive BC updates as conditions change.
 
People using Highway 3 are advised of the alternate route on Highway 3A and the Kootenay Lake Ferry.

Ward said the Kootenay Lake Ferry will run throughout the closure period.
 
"Our other avalanche areas throughout the district are expected to remain operational through this event," Ward explained.
 
Ward said there is also a small chance that we may see smaller localized flooding issues at low elevation.

For issues affecting the highway infrastructure please contact our maintenance contractors at the numbers below.

For issues involving private property or concerns about local creeks or drainages please contact Emergency Management BC’s  24 hr toll free number at 1-800-663-3456
 
As always, both our highway maintenance contractors are monitoring the weather and road conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be working hard at meeting all the varying challenges presented by this weather.

For questions specific to road maintenance, please contact the following:

  • Nelson, Creston, Silverton, Slocan City, New Denver, Nakusp, and Kaslo areas - you may also contact Yellowhead Road and Bridge (Kootenay) 24/7 at 1-888-352-0356 or at 250-352-3242 during office hours.
  • Castlegar, Trail, Warfield, Montrose, Rossland, Fruitvale, Grand Forks, Greenwood, Midway, and Rock Creek areas - you may also contact Emcon Services 24/7 at 1-866-353-3136 or at 250-442-2025 during office hours