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Flood-induced highway closures leave 100+ truckers stranded at Canadian gas station


More than 100 truckers are stranded at a gas station in British Columbia as floods ravage the area, forcing the closure of multiple highways. 

The truckers, who are stuck in a parking lot between an Esso gas station and a Walmart in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada, say they are at a standstill with all the road closures. 

“I was about to go pick up a load on the coast and that didn’t happen because the flooding on the Coquihalla, and I am stuck here because there are no highways to get me home,” said David Rusch, a trucker from Salmon Arm. 

“I’ve been driving truck(s) for 30 years and I never experienced anything like this.”

Just yesterday, November 15th, residents of Merritt were ordered to evacuate due to massive flooding that overcame three bridges and even shut down the wastewater treatment plant, along with everything else. 

“Even the Walmart,” noted Rusch to Global News.

Now, the truckers are stuck waiting for either highway reopenings, or an okay from their companies to drop their trailers and head back home. 

“It’s up to our companies to say we can go,” said Will Blokpoel, another driver stuck waiting. 

“They are hoping something will open up, like (Highway 3), but I don’t see any changes in the foreseeable future,” he continued, noting that the sanitation situation is already on thin ice, and some drivers are already almost out of food.  

“We tried to contact Merritt and they’re not getting back to us,” he said. “We’re hoping to get someone to contact us and bring us a porta-potty.”

As of 11:30 this morning, multiple highways, including Highway 1, were still closed due to flooding. The Coquihalla Highway, one of B.C.’s main highways, was completely torn in half in the flooding and officials say that it may take weeks or months to repair. 


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