Damage to Rockwell Drive rendered the Harrison Hot Springs street unrecognizable and utterly destroyed by this weekend’s floods. More than 40 homes needed to be evacuated from the area. (Colin Caldwell/Contributed)

Mayor: Destruction to District of Kent’s Rockwell Drive due to heavy storms may take weeks to repair

More than 40 homes evacuated after landslides, floods

It may take at least three weeks for life to return to normal along District of Kent’s Rockwell Drive.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), District of Kent staff and Emil Anderson Construction are working to clear the debris, divert flowing water and clear land and rock slide areas that damaged and destroyed critical road and water infrastructure in Harrison this weekend.

According to a statement from the District of Kent, the district is working closely with provincial authorities and engineers to restore potable water circulation to the area.

On Saturday, residents were ordered to immediately evacuate the area due to damaged infrastructure, no potable water and rapid water flows across the highway. Search and Rescue and RCMP delivered notice to the residents, advising them to close all windows and doors, shut off the gas, take critical items and lock everything down.

Tuesday afternoon, District of Kent Mayor Sylvia Pranger revised the evacuation order to encourage remaining affected residents in the area to evacuate for their safety and to allow work crews to a safe working environment to rebuild the road and waterways.

RELATED:Rockwell Drive closed in both directions

The public is advised to stay way from the area; only emergency workers and local traffic will be permitted through. There is no access beyond the intersection of Rockwell Drive and Hicks Lake Road, according to the district. Traffic control officials will request documented proof of local residency of all vehicles looking to pass through. All vehicles accessing the area will be recorded.

According to Pranger, the district anticipates construction will take two to three weeks if all proceeds as planned.

District staff said the flood waters originated from Trout Lake Creek and the bank has successfully been restored. The MOTI intends to rebuild the road according to its original design.

RELATED:State of Emergency declared in District of Kent

“If the weather cooperates and our materials arrive on time, we will be ready to move forward,” Pranger said. “Our primary concern remains the safety of residents and onsite workers.”

According to Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness, approximately 40 homes needed to be evacuated from the area.

Additional security details and RCMP patrols will continue to watch over the area.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

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