Massive BC Flood Disaster Will Keep Slopes Quiet

The massive BC flood disaster has left an incredible trail of destruction to major highway and rail infrastructure that will impact transport in the province for months and likely years ahead while it is repaired and replaced.

Travel from Vancouver and the lower mainland area to the interior is severely limited now, and will remain so for quite some time given the extent of the damage.

Both sides of the Highway 1 freeway washed out at Bottletop Bridge, BC flood disaster
Both sides of the Highway 1 freeway washed out at Bottletop Bridge © BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure

That means a huge hit for the interior BC ski resorts that rely on that lower mainland business, especially weekends and holidays, for a big chunk of their revenue.

Like Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks, which are three of the top choices for international visitors. They should remain so – certainly for Aussies Canada is the best option to book a 2021-2022 season trip.

Work crews start on Hwy 5’s Jessica Bridge © BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure

From the traveling international skier’s point of view, the interior resorts themselves remain unaffected.

You can fly into the airports at Kelowna or Kamloops and head up to Big White, Silver Star, or Sun Peaks unaffected.

All the interior BC areas are generally pretty crowd free anyway, but this season shapes up as being quieter then normal on the slopes for those that can go.

The resorts and locals who depend on them will need your business more than ever this season. So you will be doing them a favour if you can get there.

Highway 8 bridge wash outs © BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure

It’s a case of disasters coming in waves, as they have down under with the 2019-2020 bushfires wrecking the summer season followed by two covid-affected winters. BC has suffered devastating fires too, which has left exposed slopes that slide more easily. Combine that with “atmospheric river” rain events which are getting worse, and the results are here to see.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the disaster. Canadians and Aussies have always stuck together and had each others backs, through wars and peacetime disasters. Now it’s our turn to help them out.

If you want to help with a donation, the official Canadian Red Cross appeal for the BC flood victims link is here.

The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are already doing an amazing job of getting things working again as these images from them show. Whole freeway bridges ripped up like toys, dangling railway lines, cutaways, landslides, sink holes, the damage is horrendous, and so widespread.

The rapid onset of winter and the prospect of further flood events just makes their task harder.

Access to Whistler from Vancouver via Sea to Sky Highway 99 has not been affected nearly as much, closed due to landslides which were quickly cleared.

If/when you are driving in BC, stay up to date with BC Highway Traffic condition reports and cams on their site here.

For routes and travel tips check the Province’s excellent official tourist info site, hello.BC

Remember, you will need winter tires – check the official advice on that here

Work crews at Tank Hill overpass on Highway 1, which left the rail track hanging like a rope bridge
Work crews at Tank Hill overpass on Highway 1, which left the rail track hanging like a rope bridge © BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure
Viewed from above © BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure