More than a thousand trapped in Hope as families try to book helicopters to get out
More than 1,200 people were still trapped in Hope on Tuesday after all roads out of town were washed out by unprecedented rainfall and mudslides in recent days.
Some stranded travellers were trying to book helicopters to escape the situation.
Peter Robb said he had seen nothing like it in his years as mayor of the 6,200-resident town, whose residents set up temporary shelters in a church and high school for stranded motorists, and brought them water, essential medications and food.
“It’s been a significant strain on the community,” said Robb. “One person was airlifted to Chilliwack hospital for their injuries.
Much of Hope’s rental accommodations remained booked. Camp Hope, which had a total of 36 available rooms and was running off of generator power, opened its doors to 250 people stranded by the mudslides after seeing vehicles lined up along Highway 7 on Monday morning.
Director Bill Gerber said the camp’s lodge was immediately filled and volunteers resorted to “putting people in the auditorium to sleep.”
The Shxw’ōwhámel First Nation was also sheltering and feeding people in need.
The storm made power and cellular service in the area spotty, said Robb. People purchasing groceries were having to pay with cash. The mayor’s next concern was that the town might run out of food or fuel if the highways remained blocked for a few more days.