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

Gerry Thiessen, mayor of Vanderhoof shown talking to students on May 17. Thiessen and other members of council officially announced that the rainbow crosswalk will be a reality. They were ready to paint a few lines of of paint onto the crosswalk, but weather wasn’t suitable for it. District staff will be jumping onto the project as soon as the weather allows it. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
School District 91 holds first ‘Share the Love Day’

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia recognized

Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. Toxic illicit drugs have claimed the lives of 498 British Columbians in the first three months of 2021, said the BC Coroners Service. (BCEHS photo)
Increase in overdose cases a concern: Fort St. James RCMP

Police issue public health announcement

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for 2nd run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read