Highways in B.C. starting to reopen but free-flowing traffic still months away, says minister

WATCH: Abbotsford, B.C. residents clean up as flood waters recede after 3 storms

British Columbia may have seen the last of the “intense storms,” according to Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

“The worst weather seems to be behind us and I am grateful for that,” he said at a media briefing Thursday.

However, there is still much work to be done in the province.

Farnworth is reminding everyone to continue to obey road closures, abide by fuel rationing and travel only for essential reasons as it could take a long time to rebuild the hardest-hit parts of the province.

“British Columbians have been through a lot and governments at all levels will be here during this difficult time,” Farnworth added.

The federal and provincial governments have now formed a working group, he said, to make sure help and information are available at all levels.

Read more:

B.C. floods: Some Sumas Prairie residents still weeks away from returning home, mayor says

There is also some good news when it comes to the highways and travelling in the province.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Highway 1 from Abbotsford to Chilliwack reopens Thursday afternoon, allowing traffic to flow from Vancouver to Hope.

Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope has also reopened but there is some restricted flow for about three kilometres near Bridal Falls, Fleming added. Traffic is being diverted to one lane in each direction over to the west side of the highway and the eastbound lanes remain closed.

Highway 3 is still open for the supply chain but it is under an essential travel order and prioritized for truck drivers, Fleming said.

Highway 3 east of Princeton remains closed due to flooding but could reopen in some capacity Thursday afternoon.

Highway 20 to Bella Coola is now open but Highway 99 remains closed between Pemberton and Lillooet due to a recent mudslide, Fleming added.

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