Personnel from Peace River Coal ended their shift early when a washout made the Core Road unmanageable. Kevin Sharman told Tumbler Ridge News that ? We had a record snowpack this winter. A period of hot weather last week caused rapid melting, bringing the stream levels up, then there was an intense thunderstorm Monday afternoon ? a bad triple combo. The culverts at that spot were flowing, but were not able to pass enough water through, causing ponding upstream of the road, which spilled over and eroded the road fill.?
Brent Hamilton, General Mine Manager of Peace River Coal stated, ?At approximately 20:30 on June 4, 2007 I was notified by Robert Vandale (PRC Plant Superintendent) that Kevin Sharman (PRC Environment and Geology Manager) had called from site to inform us that the Core Lodge Road at kilometer 5.5 was in the process of washing out, and that a decision had been made to evacuate all personnel from the mine site.
By 21:00 I had arrived to the wash out, and by 21:30 100% of all site personnel had been mobilized to the wash out, where they were escorted on foot by the area washing out ? and then transported first in to the Lomax shop where a final head count was completed and then all personnel were transported to their homes in Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
Action taken was preemptive on PRC?s part so as to prevent personnel from being trapped at the site due to the road wash out.
Ultimately approximately 50% of the road was washed away ? and crews were scheduled to return to regular shifts on the evening of June 5, 2007.
I would like to thank and recognize efforts made by all PRC, TERCON TR and KODE Contracting, and Kodiak personnel ? who worked effectively as a team in reacting to this emergency that resulted in the safe and efficient evacuation, and the timely re-establishment of the road and return back to normal operation.