A Klee Cho Aviation B206 sits at the Dease Lake Airport on April 18 before moving passengers and supplies to Telegraph Creek. (Submitted Photo/ Mark Wheatley)

A Klee Cho Aviation B206 sits at the Dease Lake Airport on April 18 before moving passengers and supplies to Telegraph Creek. (Submitted Photo/ Mark Wheatley)

Helicopters deliver food, supplies to northern B.C. community after road closure

Road is expected to re-open by the end of April

It’s been almost 10 days since those in Telegraph Creek were cut off from road access to the rest of northern B.C. due to a washout – sparking donated resources from companies in the area.

Several mining companies have donated helicopter flights to help keep the isolated community supplied while the main washout and other localized slides and creek breaches are dealt with.

“We truly appreciate it, our people truly appreciate it,” said Tahltan Band Chief Carmen McPhee. “We don’t have road access but everybody’s morale is still up and our people are still happy.”

Newcrest Mining Ltd. donated passenger, fuel and grocery flights using two helicopters from Klee Cho Aviation Inc., a Tahltan-held joint venture with Yellowhead Helicopters. Skeena Resources used Silver King Helicopters Inc. to transport fuel to the community.

Newmont Corporation has hired Alkan Air to transport groceries, medicine and mail by fixed wing aircraft next week.

Wet conditions, coupled with a lack of vegetation due to wildfires in 2018, have created the perfect recipe for washouts and slides.

A spell of warm weather in the area has been quickly melting the heavy snowpack. In 2018, wildfires burned around 120,000 hectares in the area, meaning that there is little foliage to slow the movement of melting snow and water.

“It’s not common to be be this bad, the forest fire did do a lot of damage, there’s no vegetation, there’s no trees that are able to be able to soak up all this extra water.” McPhee said.

Since the washout, there have been instances of other localized slides and creek breaches daily, including a slide in Telegraph Creek itself, blocking access to some residences which are not currently occupied.

Residents of Telegraph Creek were already hauling snow out of the community to mitigate risks before the washout happened. Three excavators and three gravel trucks were already on the Telegraph Creek side of the washout, which McPhee said was fortunate because they are able to keep working on the slides in and around the community.

According to McPhee, the road could re-open by Monday, April 26, but that is an optimistic timeline. She said that the worst-case scenario for the road to re-open is the end of the month, but the situation is changing daily.

READ MORE: Telegraph Creek Road washed out, no timetable to re-open


@BenBogstie
ben.bogstie@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sherlene Morley enjoyed every last minute with her mom, Gail Jurick. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge woman celebrates last Mother’s Day with mom

Sharlene Morely had a final Mother’s Day celeration with Gail Jurisk on May 1

David and Julie Kaplan with their children Estelle and Justin. (Special to The News)
BC family whose move was stopped by COVID border closure back on the road

Maple Ridge’s Kaplan family will arrive at their new home in Nova Scotia on Wednesday

A sign to students outside Pitt Meadows secondary. The school is currently listed by Fraser Health as having COVID-19 exposures. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have COVID-19 exposures

Highland Park, Laity View added to list of nine with cases in past two weeks

Balaji Kumar in front of his backyard observatory in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge man makes astronomical discovery

Balaji Kumar spotted a dwarf nova outburst from his backyard observatory

Jack Emberly is the host of a podcast on CEED Pod. (The News files)
CEED Centre in Maple Ridge launches new podcast

Available on CEED Centre website

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
Coquitlam teacher suspended after persistently messaging students online, calling them ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terry Driver as he looked around the time of the killing of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of Misty Cockerill in Abbotsford in October 1995. No current photos are available of Driver.
‘Abbotsford Killer’ Terry Driver denied parole, deemed ‘high risk’ to re-offend

Driver murdered Tanya Smith, 16, and seriously injured Misty Cockerill, 15, in 1995

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

A Mountie issued B.C. RCMP’s first ticket for non-essential travel May 1. (Black Press Media files)
Driver ticketed, told to ‘return to Lower Mainland immediately’ by Vancouver Island police

The motorist was originally pulled over for driving-related offences May 1

Most Read