Fuel, food to be barged into Stewart

FUEL AND heavy equipment is to arrive by tomorrow by barge into Stewart as efforts continue to restore road access into the tiny community which has been cut off since Tuesday because of flood waters.

FUEL AND heavy equipment is to arrive by tomorrow by barge into Stewart as efforts continue to restore road access into the tiny community which has been cut off since Tuesday because of flood waters.

Heavy rains turned the Bear River into a torrent which has chewed up sections of Hwy37A and destroyed one section of a bridge.

A second barge, this time containing food and other supplies, is to arrive Wednesday from Prince Rupert.

Stewart has asked the provincial government for financial help to cover the cost of the barge, estimated at more than $15,000.

Regional highways manager Mike Lorimer said the 100-foot, one-lane temporary bridge will be put into place as soon as possible.

All of our efforts are on that right now,” he said.

Crews need to first remove a 55-foot section of the Bitter Creek Bridge that has been badly damaged.

Yesterday they needed to clear a mudslide between the Bitter Creek Bridge and the junction of the highway and Meziadin Junction so the temporary bridge could be brought in.

The highway into Stewart was closed Tuesday following intense rains with sections starting to be washed out Wednesday.

Estimates yesterday indicated it could be as long as five days before road access is restored.

District of Stewart chief administrative officer Peter Weeber said people and vehicles stranded in Stewart could be moved out by air and barge.

We will have more details on relocation plan over the next few days,” he said late last night.

Some people have been getting out on aircraft being used by mining and other companies working in the area.

Despite heavy rains, dykes protecting the community have held.

Meanwhile, mudslides and flooding have forced the closure of Highway 37 North of Meziadin Junction and crews are working to at least restore single land traffic.

On the Nisga’a Highway in the Nass Valley, flood has closed the section from Gitwinksihlkw to Greenville.