Chopaka bridge closed as support beam buckles

The Chopaka Bridge in the Lower Similkameen Indian Band has been closed due to damage

The rushing Similkameen River has damaged a support beam on the Chopaka Bridge forcing its closure and leaving some on Lower Similkameen Indian Band without a way to get out.

Chief Keith Crow told the Review that the bridge had to be closed Thursday after it was found that the beam had been severely damaged.

The band issued an evacuation order for Chopaka and West Similkameen, but Crow said, some people decided to remain at home.

Without the use of the bridge those that remained have now way of getting out if needed. There are about 40 homes in that area.

Related: Two homes evacuated, 40 on alert in Lower Similkameen

Crow said earlier in the week he’d hoped to make arrangements with the border to allow residents to leave through the U.S. if needed.

An agreement was not worked out by Friday night.

At this point it’s unknown when an engineer will come to Chopaka to assess the bridge.

Related: Aerial footage shows flooding in Lower Similkameen

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