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Roads, buses, trailers and backhoes litter Princeton flood area

Environment ministry starts big job of clearing hazardous debris
The town side concrete abutment of the trestle and the steel span over it were severely damaged in the flood and needed to be removed. Photo Clay Naslund.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment is embarking on a project to clear waterways of potentially dangerous materials in the Princeton and Tulameen areas.

In a release issued last week the ministry stated: “The province is assessing waterway debris and, where a public safety threat is identified, is engaging with First Nations, local authorities, and private citizens on a plan for removal.

“From flights, site visits and communications with First Nations in the area and local government, we are aware of numerous large human-made debris in the river system including but not limited to roads, bridges, buildings, vehicles, and sea-cans.”

This week multiple crews will begin removing debris from approximately one kilometre west of the Tulameen River, and will then work downstream to remove known debris and identify new problem sports.

The effort is supported by a website with a debris map and residents can use it to report debris and upload photos.

The map indicates in the Tulameen area alone there is a bus, campers, trailers, motor-homes, other vehicles, a backhoe and part of a railway bridge.

At the same time ministry workers are completing the removal of part of the trestle spanning the river near Princeton.

The removal of the damaged parts of the trestle was necessary in order ensure it did not cause greater flood events in the upcoming freshet. The budget for that job was $560,000.

Mark Woods, manager of the regional district’s community services department, said workers are still in the trestle area and have had to construct new fencing and barriers to keep curious residents away from the job site.

To report or view debris go to

Debris can also be reported through the 1-800-663-3456 ECC number.

Related: Province has no plans to replace KVR trestle near Princeton

Related: Princeton mayor calls out Trudeau for lack of support to flooded town

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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