Carol Moffatt's attempt to return to Port Hardy from Raft Cove were blocked by this slide over the road.

Crews clean up West Coast

Unprecedented cleanup of logging roads out of Holberg after major rainstorms.

PORT HARDY—A major rainstorm that dumped more than 200 millimetres of rain on the West Coast of Vancouver Island earlier this month — stranding four people in the process — has resulted in an unprecedented cleanup of logging roads out of Holberg.

“We had a pretty major event out there, with more than 100 landslides,” said Clint Cadwallader, operations manager for Western Forest Products. “We’ve pretty much completed our assessment; now there will be a joint action plan involving several parties.”

The roads impacted by both landslides and bridge washouts fall under several different jurisdictions, including WFP, BC Timber Sales and the provincial Ministry of Transportation.

All of them have road-building contractors working in the region, in which logging equipment has been working and where some of that equipment is momentarily cut off.

Also cut off from the rest of Vancouver Island for several days were Carol Moffatt of Port Hardy, 57, and three visiting surfers, all of whom were airlifted by a Campbell River search and rescue crew Nov. 9.

They — and three dogs — were taken from the area near the Cape Palmerston rec area after a pair of substantial slides blocked the Ronning Main Line. Their vehicles remain behind, awaiting road clearing by BC Timber Sales contractors.

“We have started working on the two landslides that blocked Ronning Main,” said Mike McCulley of BCTS. “We expect to have those cleared in two weeks, and we have been in contact with the owners of those vehicles.”

Some popular West Coast locations remain accessible to the public. Cadwallader said Cape Scott and San Jo Bay remain accessible, though travellers will need to be aware of active log hauling. But others remain closed off, and some areas face the prospect of being inaccessible for an extended period.

Among the hardest-hit corridors are those leading to Hecht Bay, which is closed to road traffic indefinitely, and Palmerston, where a substantial metal bridge simply washed away just beyond the point where Moffatt and the surfers were left stranded.

“We did lose a significant bridge right at the Palmerston Rec site,” said McCulley. “The province will have to assess that and determine what they’re going to do. We have only been able to see it by helicopter, because we can’t get in there.”

Cadwallader advised visitors to the region to stop in at WFP’s office in Port Hardy or in Holberg to educate themselves on the accessibility and status of roads before venturing to remote West Coast areas.

 

Just Posted

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

North Island Concert Society reports on a successful season

It was a successful season for the NICS in terms of increased attendance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The Merry Widow Mountain trail

“Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain”

Kwakwaka’wakw families march in Port Hardy in honour of MMIWG

Red dresses lined Market Street in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

20th Anniversary of Family Fishing Weekend coming to North Island

Choice of 14 events held on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read