David MacKenzie, the Pemberton District Search and Rescue manager, said his team came across seven vehicles at the slide site on Highway 99 near the town of Lillooet and police were trying to determine if there were any other bodies.
“It is a significant amount of debris. It makes it very difficult for our search crews. The mud is up to their waist. I can’t recall our team being involved in anything like this in the past,” he said.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said the total number of people and vehicles is not yet unaccounted for. Investigators have received reports of at least two other people who were missing.
About 300 people spent Sunday night in their vehicles and were helicoptered to safety Monday. Sunny skies followed two days of torrential storms that dumped the typical amount of rain that the city gets in all of November.
Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr said officers removed some people from the roofs of cars awash in floodwaters Monday night but left some motorists in semi-trucks because they were higher above the water.
About 1,100 homes had been evacuated in Abbotsford, adding to others in various parts of British Columbia, including in Merritt, where the entire town of 7,000 people was forced to leave after the sanitation system failed.
Multiple roadways have been closed because of flooding or landslides, including sections of Highway 1A, Highway 3, Highway 5, Highway 11, Highway 12 and Highway 91.
British Columbia Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said provincial Cabinet ministers would meet Wednesday to consider declaring a provincewide state of emergency. He said supplies like food, cots, and blankets were being delivered to the town of Hope, which is supporting nearly 1,100 people forced from their homes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.