Provincial state of emergency extended

WITH some highways still damaged by flooding and mudslides, and the potential for further flooding this week, the Province announced on Tuesday that it is extending the provincial state of emergency.

Given the continued need for public safety measures under the Emergency Program Act and ongoing work to repair damaged highways, the provincial state of emergency is being extended until the end of day, January 18.

“My continued thanks go out to road crews who are working so hard to get our highways back and fully open,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “This work is essential in getting vital resources to the people of British Columbia, and once completed will allow for easier access to communities around the province. Thank you to all British Columbians for your ongoing patience and compliance during these challenging times.”

The orders restricting travel on highways 5 and 99 will remain in place. This includes:

* Highway 5 (Coquihalla) between Hope and Merritt (only commercial vehicles with a minimum licensed gross vehicle weight of 11,794 kilograms and inter-city buses are permitted); and

* from the junction of Highway 99 and Lillooet River Road to the BC Hydro Seton Lake campsite access in Lillooet (open to all traffic, but vehicles weighing more than 14,500 kilograms are not permitted).

“Work has progressed well while the affected areas have experienced adverse winter conditions,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “While this work continues, the restriction on these highways will have to remain in place for a short while longer to ensure road conditions are safe for those driving and working on them.”

The state of emergency gives the Province the ability to use extraordinary powers to protect people and communities.

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