A Klee Cho Aviation B206 sits at the Dease Lake Airport on April 18 before moving passengers and supplies to Telegraph Creek. (Submitted Photo/ Mark Wheatley)

A Klee Cho Aviation B206 sits at the Dease Lake Airport on April 18 before moving passengers and supplies to Telegraph Creek. (Submitted Photo/ Mark Wheatley)

Helicopters deliver food, supplies to northern B.C. community after road closure

Road is expected to re-open by the end of April

It’s been almost 10 days since those in Telegraph Creek were cut off from road access to the rest of northern B.C. due to a washout – sparking donated resources from companies in the area.

Several mining companies have donated helicopter flights to help keep the isolated community supplied while the main washout and other localized slides and creek breaches are dealt with.

“We truly appreciate it, our people truly appreciate it,” said Tahltan Band Chief Carmen McPhee. “We don’t have road access but everybody’s morale is still up and our people are still happy.”

Newcrest Mining Ltd. donated passenger, fuel and grocery flights using two helicopters from Klee Cho Aviation Inc., a Tahltan-held joint venture with Yellowhead Helicopters. Skeena Resources used Silver King Helicopters Inc. to transport fuel to the community.

Newmont Corporation has hired Alkan Air to transport groceries, medicine and mail by fixed wing aircraft next week.

Wet conditions, coupled with a lack of vegetation due to wildfires in 2018, have created the perfect recipe for washouts and slides.

A spell of warm weather in the area has been quickly melting the heavy snowpack. In 2018, wildfires burned around 120,000 hectares in the area, meaning that there is little foliage to slow the movement of melting snow and water.

“It’s not common to be be this bad, the forest fire did do a lot of damage, there’s no vegetation, there’s no trees that are able to be able to soak up all this extra water.” McPhee said.

Since the washout, there have been instances of other localized slides and creek breaches daily, including a slide in Telegraph Creek itself, blocking access to some residences which are not currently occupied.

Residents of Telegraph Creek were already hauling snow out of the community to mitigate risks before the washout happened. Three excavators and three gravel trucks were already on the Telegraph Creek side of the washout, which McPhee said was fortunate because they are able to keep working on the slides in and around the community.

According to McPhee, the road could re-open by Monday, April 26, but that is an optimistic timeline. She said that the worst-case scenario for the road to re-open is the end of the month, but the situation is changing daily.

READ MORE: Telegraph Creek Road washed out, no timetable to re-open


@BenBogstie
ben.bogstie@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Construction work in 2020 at Nelson’s Mountain Station reservoir. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
New report outlines how to protect Nelson’s water sources

Document looks at stream flows, forests, terrain stability, wildfires, flooding, and more

South Okanagan MP Richard Cannings wants to see dental coverage for all Canadians. (courtesy of Pixabay)
OPINION: South Okanagan MP fights for universal dental care

One in three Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

COVID-19 cases are once again dropping across the West Kootenay. Illustration: BC Centre for Disease Control
Ten new cases of COVID-19 in Nelson area

Numbers are steadily dropping across the West Kootenay

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Portions of the Skattebo Reach Trail are being improved. Photo: Betsy Kline
Skattebo Reach Trail near Castlegar to become cycle friendly

Trail improvements geared towards cyclists being done in 2021

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Most Read