The more than 1,000 travelers stranded in Hope, BC, since Monday, when heavy rains triggered catastrophic landslides, got a chance to get out Wednesday night.
BC’s Department of Transportation said it was temporarily opening Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope to westbound traffic after crews made progress in clearing the storm-damaged route.
“This opening will be restricted to westbound traffic only and is only open to passenger vehicles,” the ministry said in a press release.
“The purpose of this opening is to give the people stranded in hope the opportunity to find their way to the lower mainland.”
Once travelers are evacuated, the ministry said the highway would again be closed to all but emergency vehicles to allow crews to continue repair work.
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Evacuated people were warned of significant congestion and delays on the highway.
The move came amid growing concerns over dwindling supplies in grocery stores and pharmacies.
Earlier Wednesday, Hope’s small airport was packed with people who would pay thousands of dollars to charter a plane out of the community.
Hope, a critical crossroads community at the mouth of the Fraser Valley, is located at the intersection of Trans-Canada Highway, Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3 and Highway 7.
All four routes were closed and some suffered major damage as an atmospheric river delivered a deluge of rain to the region over the weekend, triggering several landslides.
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