While Emil Anderson Maintenance crews have been working to keep Highway 1 clear of snow, another ‘atmospheric river’ event has them anticipating an avalanche past Yale. The road has been closed as a precaution. (Emil Anderson Maintenance photo)

While Emil Anderson Maintenance crews have been working to keep Highway 1 clear of snow, another ‘atmospheric river’ event has them anticipating an avalanche past Yale. The road has been closed as a precaution. (Emil Anderson Maintenance photo)

Motorists warned to avoid Highway 1 past Yale as avalanche threat looms

Drivers can get from Hope to Yale before being turned around. The road may be closed several days.

The contractor in charge of road maintenance on Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon issued a blunt warning to motorists thinking of testing Mother Nature.

“Residents in Spuzzum and the Canyon need to understand that if they try to venture down the highway, it is very possible they will get trapped and rescue won’t be possible,” read a Facebook post from Emil Anderson Maintenance.

The post was made Sunday night, Jan. 9.

The road was closed at 8 a.m. Monday morning, Jan. 10. Heading toward Spuzzum/Boston Bar from Hope, motorists were turned back at Yale. The closure extends from that point to 27 kilometres south of Jackass Mountain Summit.

“There is another atmospheric river coming that is forecasted to last into Thursday,” the Emil Anderson posted explained. “We anticipate a very significant avalanche during this time. Residents need to be aware that the closure is very likely to last until Friday (Jan. 14), possibly even longer.”

The post noted that while such a closure is rare, it is not unprecedented. An avalanche closure lasted eight days in 1996-97.

“In the 70s, there were at least two separate six day avalanche closures,” the post read.

RELATED: Avalanche risk forced closure of Fraser Canyon sections of Highways 1, 3

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eric.welsh@hopestandard.com

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