Cowichan Bay Road still closed by floods, drivers warned to stay away

Cowichan Bay Road remains closed due to flooding, and drivers are warned to use other routes to reach the bay.

"It's all weather dependent, and we hope with cold, dry temperatures the water stays back," Jeff Kidd of Mainroad South-Island Contracting said Thursday morning.

He was angry some drivers insisted on using the swamped road Wednesday — despite highway signs and drop-down barricades — only to see their vehicle sink in the drink.

"We get 'em all the time.

"A van drowned itself earlier in the day — the engine just swallowed some water and quit," he said, noting barricades off the highway, and at the lawn-tennis club.

Motorists dodging flood-warning signs or barriers face $121 fines for failing to obey a traffic sign or signal, the RCMP said.

The long-term answer to Cowichan Bay Road's perennial flooding is diking, "or lift the road up, but that's up to the ministry," Kidd said.

Meanwhile, he commended most drivers for weathering recent rain- and snowstorms safely.

"One bad area was Highway 18 (to Lake Cowichan)," he said.

"It all went off fairly well. Drivers did slow down and there wasn't so much traffic on the roads.

"Highways people from commercial inspection also helped, sitting at each end of the Malahat to check for chains and tires before allowing them through."

He expected another storm system to move into Cowichan by the weekend.

Mainroad can be called at 250-391-7310.





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