Road Openings Continue After Saturday Work

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SATURDAY P.M. UPDATE TO LAST NIGHT’S STORY (below):

Emcon Services reports that North End Road is now open in both directions; Fulford-Ganges Road is open to single lane alternating traffic.

North End and Isabella Point roads have reopened with restrictions, while Fulford-Ganges Road remains closed as recovery from heavy rainfall and flooding continues on Salt Spring Island.  

An update from Emcon Services, shared by the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program Friday evening, noted that North End Road is open to one-way alternating traffic while Isabella Road is open to “essential local residential traffic only.” 

The emergency program added that no heavy contractor or construction traffic is allowed on Isabella Point Road, after the road experienced heavy flooding for most of the day Monday. 

The two roads were closed for the whole week after heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday prompted water and debris to wash over Isabella Point Road and a mudslide covered part of North End Road.

A washout caused by an overflowing Blackburn Lake had Fulford-Ganges Road closed for most of the week. While Emcon said they hope to have this area open to local resident traffic only soon, the road will remain closed further south between Kitchen and Dukes roads. Emcon said this section of road will stay closed for several days, to repair a culvert and pavement failure. 

“Please slow down in these areas to respect road workers,” Emcon urged in the update.

The province’s road information website DriveBC shows Isabella Point and North End roads still closed, however the update from Emcon stated they hope DriveBC updates their information Saturday morning to reflect Emcon’s road conditions report.  

The Malahat highway (#1) also opened to two-way traffic earlier on Friday, reducing the need for travellers to go through Salt Spring Island to reach destinations on either side of the Malahat area that was undergoing rehabilitation.

In other transportation-related news, the provincial government brought in an order Friday restricting gasoline purchases for the general public to 30 litres per pump visit in order to ensure adequate gasoline supplies for essential services and the public at large. The measure is expected to be in place until Dec. 1.

“The province will be working with gas retailers and distributors to implement this order to make sure people are not exceeding their allotted limit per trip,” stated a B.C. government press release issued Friday afternoon. “As part of this order, gas retailers will be required to ensure remaining gasoline reserves last until Dec. 1, 2021. Anyone who is abusive, threatening or belligerent to gas station workers can be subject to a fine under the order.”

“We have a steady supply of gas to support all our essential vehicles and we will get through these restrictions together by staying calm, only buying what we need and looking out for each other. These measures are necessary during temporary shortages as work is underway to re-establish B.C.’s fuel supply,” said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

A $50 purchase limit was in effect on Friday night at Mid-Island Co-op in Ganges.

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