A small town on the B.C.-Alaska border is running out of food after torrential rain and floods cut off the only road into the northern community.
The only route in and out of the tiny town of Stewart, B.C., is Highway 37, the Glacier Highway. It was washed out Tuesday night. On Thursday, rain washed out the only bridge in town.
Mayor Angela Brand Danuser says resources are running low. Milk and bread are now being reserved for mothers and children.
"The grocery stores, their shelves are pretty bare. The gas station has had to ration fuel because the emergency equipment that's doing the fixing on the road, they require fuel so they can keep doing the job."
Brand Danuser says the dwindling supplies are a concern to residents. She held a town hall meeting Thursday night in the school gymnasium.
"Some people are panicking," Danuser said. "Some people are worried it's going to be weeks without the road being open."
Brand Danuser says the remaining food and gas won't last long, and she’s asking the provincial government to bring in supplies by barge, saying there are more people in the town of 500 than usual.
"There is a caravan of motor homes stuck in town. There are some German bus tours that are stuck in town, and all the people that work in the mine industry and the exploration industry, so there are extra people in the community."
Brand Danuser says provincial officials estimate it will take at least a week to put a Bailey bridge in place.
"There is a possibility in the next five days they could have a bridge brought in and span the section of the bridge that is broken. But the until the rain stops and the waters recede a little bit nobody really knows right now."
It's been raining in Stewart and across the entire north coast since early August. On Monday, a major storm dumped 180 millimetres of rain in just four days.
The flooding has closed Highway 37 in both directions from Meziadin Junction to Burrage River Bridge because of debris and erosion. Motorists can get around the washout using Alaska Highway 97 as a detour.
Highway 37A is closed in both directions from Meziadin Junction to Stewart because of several highway washouts and damage to Bitter Creek Bridge. There is no detour available, and it's unknown when either highway will open.
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