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B.C. rock slide temporarily closes Highway 16

Snow is covering several provincial routes
Snow is covering several provincial routes

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

October 22, 2011 — British Columbia communities were temporarily cut off Friday as crews cleared a rock slide on one of the province's major mountain highways.

Terrace, Prince Rupert and Kitimat were cut off from the rest of the province following a rock slide on Highway 16.

The slide happened Thursday about 30 km east of Terrace and forced the closure of Highway 16 in both directions. It has since re-opened but the road has been reduced to single lane, alternating traffic.

As of Friday night, crews were still working to clear away debris. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Rock and mud slides are a common occurrence in B.C.'s mountain passes, especially during the rainy fall.

Drivers are also likely to encounter snow in the higher elevations at this time of year, especially early in the morning and late at night.

Several provincial routes through the northern interior are already seeing regular snowfall.

B.C. police take safety seriously: by law, people driving through the mountains between October 1st and May 31st each year are required to have all-season mud and snow tires or winter tires, or to carry chains. Drivers caught without the proper equipment face a $120 fine.

There are plenty of other things motorists can do to make sure their vehicles can handle a trip through the mountains, including making sure fluids are topped up and tires are properly inflated.

With files from Alexandra Pope and the Canadian Press

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