VANCOUVER, B.C. – After more than 55 centimetres of snow fell in the Revelstoke, B.C.-area causing a high avalanche hazard, road officials closed Highway 1, leaving hundreds of truck drivers stranded for two days earlier this week.
The highway was closed between Craigellachie, B.C. to Revelstoke, B.C. (later dubbed Revelstuck thanks to all the snow) and many truck drivers simply were forced to stay on the shoulder until the highway was reopened a couple days later.
One trucker who was stuck, was Truck News’ own monthly columnist and owner/operator, Mark Lee, who was doing a late-night run hauling groceries from Calgary to Langley, B.C. when he got word that the highway would be closing.
“It was quite bad, there was a lot of snow flying,” he said. “It was really coming down, I mean even for B.C., I know they get some serious snow there. They shut the road down at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the time where I could have got going again. So I was stuck there.”
Lee wasn’t in Revelstoke, B.C. or Siacmous, B.C. during the snowfall, he was in Golden, B.C. where he said there was power and plenty of facilities for those who were stranded. He said he was originally stopped because of his log book (he stopped to sleep at midnight and woke up to get going when the avalanche control began).
“I just stayed in Golden because I was heading West, I wasn’t going the other way,” he said. “And those in Sicamous didn’t have any power.”
Lee said that the atmosphere was sort of a mixed bag when it came to truckers being upset by the delay. He said some just wanted to get on the move to make up for lost time, and other rolled with the punches.
Thankfully, Lee had enough food and water packed in his truck to sustain himself for the few days that he wasn’t rolling.
“I always carry enough supplies with me to eat in the truck,” he said. “Enough that I don’t have to eat out if I don’t want to. But if I didn’t, where I was there was plenty of facilities, that’s why I elected to stay there.”
Lee said he has been stuck in snow situations for avalanche control before, so the two-day delay wasn’t anything major for him.
Unfortunately, not every driver is as prepared, but for those who were stuck in the Sicamous, B.C. area were fortunate enough to be in the presence of friendly residents and a helpful Husky gas station.
There were reports of residents giving food to hungry drivers and the Husky in Sicamous, B.C. even gave free food and drink away to those who were stuck.
“Well, we had a power outage,” said Fung Choi, manager of the Sicamous Husky. “And many drivers didn’t have food and they were hungry so I gave them food and drinks to help.”
Choi said the drivers were very appreciative for his generosity during the snow storm.
Lee said he finally got back on the road on Wednesday at around 3 p.m. and made his delivery to Langley at midnight.
“I should have been there on Tuesday,” he said. “So it was a 36-hour delay. But what can you do?”
Sonia Straface is the associate editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. She graduated from Ryerson University's journalism program in 2013 and enjoys writing about health and wellness and HR issues surrounding the transportation industry. Follow her on Twitter: @SoniaStraface. All posts by Sonia Straface