Trucks parked at the Rupert Block Mall on Wednesday morning

Trucks parked at the Rupert Block Mall on Wednesday morning

Highway between Terrace and Prince Rupert open again

The highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace was closed this morning from Rainbow Summit to two kilometres west of Terrace and is expected to remain closed for the remainder of the morning.

The highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace is open again after it was closed on Wednesday morning from Rainbow Summit to two kilometres west of Terrace.

According to drivebc.ca, the closure was due to a high avalanche hazard, and the next update on the road is expected at two p.m. this afternoon. By about 2:15 in the afternoon the closure warning was taken off the website.

More than 60 millimetres of precipitation fell Tuesday night and another 40 millimetres is expected on Wednesday, forcing a closure of Hwy16 because of a high avalanche hazard.

“There are two [avalanche] paths and they would be between 60km west and 80km west of here,” transportation ministry official Don Ramsay said this morning.

The volume of precipitation and the rate at which it came down have made the snowpack unstable.

Another avalanche hazard has closed the road to Shames Mountain, affecting the ski hill.

Technicians will first determine if avalanches closing Hwy16 have already taken place and the routes have been cleared naturally.

Failing that, they will attempt to place explosives from helicopters in strategic spots to trigger avalanches.

Ramsay said timing of avalanche control and when the highway might re-open is unknown.

“There are a lot of ifs,” he said.

The avalanche technicians will be about at the 1,300 metre elevation.

The actual closures on Hwy16 in both directions fare at the Rainbow Pass and at gates 2km west of Terrace.

Look for more on this story as it becomes available at thenorthernview.com.