Highway 97A reopened to traffic near Sicamous

Geotechnical engineer says area does not pose a risk to motorists

Motorists can once again use a major transportation route in the region.

As of 1 p.m. Thursday, Highway 97A has reopened to traffic after a temporary closure earlier in the day.

“Early this morning, highway crews noticed a sudden and dramatic drop in Sicamous Creek levels and stream flow combined with discolouration,” said Leah Blain, with the Shuswap Emergency Program.

“As a safety precaution, the highway was closed to traffic until a geotechnical engineer could do an aerial inspection of upstream portions of the creek.”

At about 11 a.m. a geotechnical engineer reported to the Shuswap Emergency Program  that Sicamous Creek had been impacted by a small landslide into an upper portion of the creek.

About 2,000 cubic metres of sand and dirt had restricted an upstream portion of Sicamous Creek, slowing the water flow.

“The engineer reported it does not present a threat to the community or to workers in the area,” said Blain.

“Residents may notice the water levels and flows in the creek area may fluctuate and the water will have higher turbidity than normal.”

Residents remain on evacuation alert in the area and should be ready to leave on short notice.

Currently the highway is open to alternating traffic due to construction.