Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park
An interpretive centre in a traditional Nisgaa longhouse informs visitors about the Nisgaa legend that accounts for the lava as well as geological causes. The park has waterfalls, cinder cones, tree moulds, lava tubes, spatter cones, the park aims to protect moose, marmots and many other species of wildlife. The park covers 178.93 square kilometres in area and it is believed to be the site of Canadas most recent volcanic eruption and lava flow, a geological disaster that killed an estimated 2,000 people. Nisgaa oral histories record the names of two destroyed in the eruption, Wii Lax Kabit and Lax Ksiluux. The source of the eruption was the Tseax Cone, large lava flows dammed the Nass River and destroyed two villages of the Nisgaa people around the year 1700. Lava beds rise as much as 12 metres above the modern road, Nisgaa Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park - BC Parks site Lukovich, Jeff. Lava bed bears witness to deadly eruption, Nisgaa Lisims - park website Nisgaa Lisims
December 2008 North American snowstorms
The December 2008 North American snowstorms were a series of snowstorms that struck across Canada and the US. The snowstorms caused snow to fall across Canada and many parts of the United States, the snowstorms caused Canada to have the first nationwide white Christmas since 1971. The series of snowstorms broke a 44-year-old record for the snowiest Christmas ever and it was the first official white Christmas in Vancouver since 1998. In fact, Vancouver would be the Canadian city with the greatest snow depth for the Christmas Day of 2008, Vancouver experienced many snowfalls including snowstorms on December 21st and on the 24th, breaking daily snowfall records. Vancouver International Airport recorded 22.4 centimeters and 26.8 centimeters on the 21st, higher elevations and cities northeast of Vancouver, such as Coquitlam, received over 30 centimeters of snow with each of the storms. The snow, was accompanied by frigid temperatures such as the −15.2 °C on the 20th. It happened to be the coldest temperature recorded in December for 40 years, another snowstorm on the 26th brought an additional 15.6 centimeters of snow at the airport, which led to some roof collapses.
When recorded, the monthly snowfall for December stood at an astonishing near 90 centimeters, two avalanches occurred near Fernie, British Columbia, as a result of the snowstorms that dumped approximately 27 inches in the region. The first avalanche buried a group of seven men, and an avalanche buried a group of four that were trying to help the first group. Three men pulled out of the snow, but eight died in the avalanches. Areas of Southern Ontario saw above average snowfall throughout much of December 2008, areas like Toronto saw over 60 cm in December and near Lake Huron and Georgian Bay snowfall amounts were in excess of 100+cm. Many areas near London and near the shorelines of Lake Huron had seen above average snowfall as well, thick fog caused by the storms were responsible for flight cancellations in both the Chicago Midway Airport and the USs second busiest airport, OHare International Airport. On December 26th hundreds of flights were canceled, operations began to return to normal the following day, though over a hundred flights were still canceled.
The snowstorms were responsible for the most December snowfall in Portland, the City of Portland reported spending an estimated $2.17 million on snow removal, deicing of roads, and employee overtime due to the record levels of snowfall. Tri-Met suspended two-thirds of its bus lines, hundreds of flights arriving and departing from Portland International Airport were canceled, leaving passengers and luggage stranded. Garbage services, privately run in the Portland area, were canceled for over two weeks. The winter weather affected the Seattle area, where snow brought the city to a standstill. The city of Seattle was criticized over its response to the snowfall, Mayor Greg Nickels initially gave the city a B for its response to the snowstorm, but the director of the Department of Transportation admitted the city should have done things differently
1910 Rogers Pass avalanche
The 1910 Rogers Pass Avalanche killed 62 men clearing a railroad line near the summit of Rogers Pass through the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia on March 4,1910. It is Canadas worst avalanche disaster, the Canadian Pacific Railways line through Rogers Pass completed its transcontinental railroad through to Canadas west coast, and at the time was the only such link. It was therefore of importance to keep it open through the winter months. Although completed in November 1885 it was abandoned as throughout that winter, up to 12 metres of snow buried the line. A costly system of 31 snow sheds was constructed to protect the most vulnerable sections of line, most of the route through the pass was still unprotected, meaning that men and equipment were often called upon to clear the track. The winter of 1909–1910 provided conditions particularly conducive to avalanches, many slides being experienced during January and February, on March 1,96 people had been killed further south in the Wellington avalanche in Washington State.
Three days on the evening of March 4 work crews were dispatched to clear a big slide which had fallen from Cheops Mountain, the crew consisted of a locomotive-driven rotary snowplow and 63 men. Time was critical as westbound CPR Train Number 97 was just entering the Rocky Mountains, half an hour before midnight as the track was nearly clear, an unexpected avalanche swept down the opposite side of the track to the first fall. Around 400 metres of track were buried, the 91-ton locomotive and plow were hurled 15 metres to land upside-down. The wooden cars behind the locomotive were crushed and all but one of the workmen were instantly buried in the deep snow, the only survivor was Billy Lachance the locomotive fireman who had been knocked over by the wind accompanying the fall but otherwise remained unscathed. When news of the disaster reached nearby Revelstoke a relief consisting of 200 railmen, physicians. They found no casualties to treat, it became a mission to clear the tracks, many of the dead were found standing upright, frozen in position, reminiscent of Pompeii.
Among the dead were 32 Japanese workers, the disaster was not the first to befall the pass, in all over 200 people had been killed by avalanches there since the line was opened 26 years previously. The CPR finally accepted defeat and in 1913 began boring the five mile long Connaught Tunnel through Mount Macdonald, at the time Canadas longest tunnel and it was opened on December 13,1916, and the railway abandoned the pass. Transcripts of contemporary newspapers - GenDisasters
Columbus Day Storm of 1962
The Columbus Day Storm of 1962 was a Pacific Northwest windstorm, that struck the West Coast of Canada and the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States on October 12,1962. It is considered the benchmark of extratropical wind storms, the storm ranks among the most intense to strike the region since at least 1948, likely since the January 9,1880 Great Gale and snowstorm. The system brought strong winds to the Pacific Northwest and southwest Canada, a tropical storm named Freda formed 500 miles from Wake Island in the central Pacific Ocean. The system became an extratropical cyclone as it moved into colder waters, the low moved northeastward, and hooked straight north as it neared southwest Oregon. The storm raced nearly northward at an speed of 40 miles per hour. There was little central pressure change until the cyclone passed the latitude of Astoria, the center passed over Tatoosh Island, before landing on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where it weakened rapidly. As the cyclone moved through Canada, another cyclone formed on its southern periphery, since it was an extratropical cyclone, its wind field was neither as compact nor as strong as a tropical cyclone.
All-time record-low land-based pressures included 969.2 hPa at Astoria,970.5 hPa at Hoquiam, and 971.9 hPa at North Bend, Oregon. The Astoria and Hoquiam records were broken by a storm on December 12,1995. The peak winds were felt as the storm passed close by on October 12, at Oregons Cape Blanco, an anemometer that lost one of its cups registered wind gusts in excess of 145 miles per hour, some reports put the peak velocity at 179 miles per hour. At the Naselle Radar Station in the Willapa Hills of southwest Washington, in Salem, Oregon, a wind gust of 90 miles per hour was observed. Observations at the station resumed the next day. About 56 miles to the north, at Portland, Oregons major metropolitan area, many anemometers and unofficial, within the heavily stricken area of northwestern Oregon and southwest Washington were destroyed before winds attained maximum velocity. For example, the wind gauge atop the downtown Portland studios of KGW radio, for the Willamette Valley, the lowest peak gust officially measured was 86 miles per hour at Eugene.
This value, however, is higher than the peak gust generated by any other Willamette Valley windstorm in the 1948–2010 period. In the city of Seattle, a wind speed of 65 miles per hour was recorded. Damaging winds reached as far inland as Spokane, Wind gusts of 58 miles per hour, the National Weather Service minimum for High Wind Criteria, or higher were reported from San Francisco, to Vancouver, British Columbia. At least 46 fatalities were attributed to this storm, more than for any other Pacific Northwest weather event, for Pacific Northwest windstorms in the 20th century, the runner up was the infamous October 21,1934, which caused 22 fatalities, mostly in Washington
Hanukkah Eve windstorm of 2006
The storm produced storm to hurricane-force wind gusts and heavy rainfall, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and leaving over 1.8 million residences and businesses without power. 18 people were killed, most of whom died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the following the storm because of improper use of barbecue cookers and generators indoors. The name of the storm was chosen in a contest run by the National Weather Service office in Seattle from about 8,000 entries, the storm left heavy damage across Washington, especially tree damage. The fallen trees knocked down power lines and closed many roads as well. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport partially lost power, canceling most flights, flooding was reported in low-lying areas from the heavy rain. The electricity grid was hit hard, as about 1.2 million customers lost power in the state. Municipal utilities suffered severe damage, major employers in the area were affected, the power outage forced Microsoft to shut down large portions of its campus in Redmond on December 15.
The Seattle School District and many districts surrounding closed, marking the first time Seattle schools were closed for a reason other than snow. It was described as the worst storm to hit the region since the Inauguration Day storm of January 20,1993, fourteen people were killed in Western Washington. One of them was 41-year-old voice actress Kate Fleming who was trapped in a basement in Seattles Madison Valley. In Grays Harbor County Markus Stickles was killed by a tree fell into his home in McCleary. In Gig Harbor, Pritchard Miller and his dog were electrocuted after stepping on a power line. In Pierce County, two motorists were hit by falling trees, eatonville resident Harold Fox,47, was killed while trying to avoid a fallen tree south of Spanaway. Steven Thielen died in Spanaway as a result of a fire caused by the use of candles for light. Eight deaths occurred as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, five of those were members of a single Burien family. Another son, Rick Taylor Butcher,24, died in a hospital on January 20,2007 as a result of his injuries, alejandro Nava-Solis of Kirkland, Juan Figueroa-Gomez of Renton, and Shah Fazli of Kenmore were among the carbon monoxide deaths.
For the first time in 70 years, on December 15 the Seattle Post Intelligencer was not able to publish copies of its newspaper. As a result of an outage at a printing plant in Bothell
The Hope Slide was the largest landslide ever recorded in Canada. It occurred in the hours of January 9,1965 in the Nicolum Valley in the Cascade Mountains near Hope, British Columbia. The volume of rock involved in the landslide has been estimated at 47 million cubic metres, two earthquakes were said to have been recorded in the general area of the slide. One quake occurred at 3,56 am and the second at 6,58 am, the slide that obliterated the mountains southwestern slope was discovered when members of the RCMP detachment at Hope BC were dispatched to what were first reported as a couple of small rock slides. Norman Stephanishin, the Arrow truck driver, had stopped behind the stuck convertible, unable to turn his rig around on the narrow and icy road, tried to talk the four others into walking the five kilometres back to Sumallo Lodge. Unable to convince them, Stephanishin walked east to Sumallo Lodge to phone the Highways Dept, in a short distance, Stephanishin flagged down a Greyhound Lines bus traveling to Vancouver and persuaded the driver, David Hughes, to return with him to Sumallo Lodge.
Hughes turned back and is credited with saving his passengers from a tragedy, rescue workers from Hope and Princeton found the body of Thomas Starchuck,39, of Aldergrove BC, driver of the hay truck. The body of Bernie Lloyd Beck,27, of Penticton BC, becks passengers, Dennis George Arlitt,23, of Penticton BC, and Mary Kalmakoff,21, of Shoreacres BC, were never recovered. Their bodies remain entombed under the rock, British Columbia Highways Minister Phil Gaglardi attended the scene and directed the construction of a temporary tote road over the southern portion of the slide. In twenty-one days a bumpy route had been established over the slide, the landslide was caused by the presence of pre-existing tectonic structures within the southwestern slope of Johnson Ridge. The lower parts of the scar are underlain by felsite sheets while the upper parts of the slide scar are underlain by highly jointed Paleozoic greenstone beds. Ongoing weathering and tectonic activity weakened the slide mass to the point where it had reached limiting equilibrium, Johnson Peak was the site of a previous smaller prehistoric rock-slide.
The highway has since been rerouted around and over the base of the debris field 55 metres above the original ground level on the other side of valley. Most of the scar on the mountain face remains bare rock. It is quite visible from aircraft passing overhead. A view point on Highway 3 allows tourists to view the scar, a four kilometre stretch of the prior routing lays disused to the north of the new highway alignment. On August 13,1965, an aircraft piloted by S. W. K, on April 23,1966, a Royal Canadian Air Force Grumman CSR-110 Albatross serving with No.121 Composite Unit at RCAF Station Comox, BC crashed on the Hope Slide. It was the only RCAF Albatross loss, five of the six crew members died
The Tseax Cone, called the Tseax River Cone or the Aiyansh Volcano, is a young cinder cone and adjacent lava flows associated with the Nass Ranges and the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province. It is located east of Crater Creek at outlet of Melita Lake, southeast of Gitlakdamix and 60 kilometres north of Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. The volcano is in a valley above and east of the Tseax River, the Tseax Cone is one of the most accessible volcanic centres in British Columbia. The Tseax Cone is in the part of the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province and is therefore part of the Ring of Fire. It has been the site of some of the youngest volcanic eruptions in Canada and it has been active at least twice in the past few hundred years and other remnants of lava flows exist in the area. It is 290 m in diameter at its base and rests on the remnants of an earlier and somewhat larger, the volcano is made of volcanic bombs and cinders with a crater at its summit where a churning lava lake poured and overflowed its rim during the 18th century.
Volcanism at the Tseax Cone is caused by the rifting of the Earths crust where two parts of the North American Plate are breaking apart, the rifting is the result of the Pacific Plate sliding northward along the transform Queen Charlotte Fault, on its way to the Aleutian Trench. The lava emitted in eruptions at the Tseax Cone is fluid and its lavas are made of basalt, a common grey to black or dark brown extrusive volcanic rock low in silica content that is usually fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava on the Earths surface. Pāhoehoe is found at the volcano, which has a smooth, undulating, a pāhoehoe flow typically advances as a series of small lodes and toes that continually break out from a cooled crust. It forms lava tubes where the heat loss maintains low viscosity. However, there is basaltic lava at the volcano characterized by a rough or rubbly surface composed of clinker called ʻaʻā, the clinkery surface covers a massive dense core, which is the most active part of the flow. As pasty lava in the core travels downslope, the clinkers are carried along at the surface, the Tseax Cone was the source for a major lava flow eruption between 1668 and 1714 that travelled into the Tseax River, damming it and forming Lava Lake.
The flow subsequently travelled 11 km north to the Nass River, the Nass River valley contains abundant tree casts and lava tubes. The tree casts were formed when the hot lava flow burned out tree trunks leaving holes in the lava, Lava tubes formed when the low-viscosity hot alkali basaltic lava travelled beneath the surface which eventually flowed out leaving the crust as the roof and walls of the tubes. Legends of the Nisgaa people tell of a period of disruption by the volcano. Several Nisgaa people dug pits for shelter but approximately 2,000 Nisgaa people died due to volcanic gases, the Nisgaa story of the destruction is Canadas worst known geophysical disaster. The lava beds, which reach 12 m above the road in places, are the burial ground of these people. It is the eruption in Canada for which legends of First Nations people have been verified
Spences Bridge is a community in the Canadian province of British Columbia, situated 35 km north east of Lytton and 44 km south of Ashcroft. In 1892, the population included 32 people of European ancestry and 130 First Nations people, there were 5 general stores,3 hotels, one Church of England and one school. The principal industries are growing and farming. The population today is approximately 138, the Kettle Valley Railway included a spur line stretching from Merritt to Spences Bridge. The rail bed is still intact along with the original bridges, on January 1,2014, the old Spences Bridge, which was a one-lane steel truss bridge was decommissioned and permanently closed to all pedestrian and vehicle traffic after 82 years of service. This was deemed necessary by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation engineers, north of Spences Bridge is Ashcroft and Cache Creek. Also north is 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, south of Spences Bridge is Lytton and Vancouver. East of the town is Merritt and Kelowna, Spences Bridges location is mountainous, with higher elevations part of the Interior Plateau.
The west side of the Fraser here is part of the Clear Range, arthur Seat lies in that range on the west side of Spences Bridge, and was named by pioneer John Murray for the similarly-named mountain in Edinburgh, Scotland. Spences Bridge has a semi-arid climate, the climate is very dry and mild by Canadian standards, with an average annual precipitation of just 269.1 mm. Like much of the valleys in the Thompson Nicola region
Seton Portage is an historic rural community in British Columbia, that is about 25 km west of Lillooet, located between Seton Lake and Anderson Lake. The Portage was formed about 10,000 years ago when the flank of the Cayoosh Range, the result is a location similar to Interlaken, with two fjord-style lakes flanking a narrow and very short strip of land between them. There are two motels, a store, a provincial park campground and heritage site, and a pub, remnants of old lake bottom survive as benchlands lining the north banks of Seton and Anderson Lakes. The inundation washed part of it away to open Seton Creek and drain the glacial melt to todays lake level, or close to it. One witness to the pre-Gold Rush Portage told of coming over the pass which leads into the valley from the north. Because of agriculture and placer activity, all signs of pre-Contact Statimc settlement on the Portage were obliterated. Two 1890s-vintage churches built by the Oblate Fathers, and some of the adjacent log-cabin rancheries, still stand today though the one at Slosh, heritage-preservation funding has enabled the band to restore the church at Nkait.
Population estimates of the populations of the Lakes Lillooet people widely vary. The beaches of the Portage were so busy with men coming and going that they were given the names Wapping and Flushing, following the end of that project, the non-native population has dwindled to 400, cresting to 500 in summer with seasonal residents and visitors. Band population in total, including Shalath and the Portage together, is about 500, certain placenames along the route were conferred by Anderson on, at the request of colonial Governor James Douglas. Seton Lake, and hence Seton Portage, was named for a friend of Andersons who had perished in the sinking of HMS Birkenhead. Birken Lake is the lake of Seton Portages big twin, the Long Portage, aka Pemberton Pass. In 1858, gold was discovered in British Columbia, steamships started running on both Seton Lake and Anderson Lake, and Seton Portage became a transportation bottleneck, as prospectors would need to portage for two kilometres between the lakes.
In 1861, Carl Dozier constructed British Columbias first railway here to transport passengers, following the Fraser Gold Rush, the Seton valley lapsed into obscurity until the 1890s, when gold exploration scoured the region in the wake of the Cayoosh Gold Rush of the 1880s. In 1914, the Pacific Great Eastern Railway was built through Seton Portage and its twin community Shalalth, which is farther east along Seton Lake. The valley became an important food supply for the goldfields in the Bridge River from the 1920s to the 1950s because of its lower elevation and hence warmer climate. The locality is known for its fine fruit-growing weather - McIntosh apples grown here are considered some of the best in the world, but there is only one commercial orchard today. During the construction of the Bridge River Power Project, the population of the Portage boomed and hundreds of houses and barracks were brought in to house workers