Skip to content

Coquitlam Express flying home after B.C. floods, mudslides closed highways

The Coquihalla highway's closure forced the team to spend an extra night in Kamloops while returning home after playing in Prince George on the weekend.
The Coquitlam Express took advantage of their second night in Kamloops due to B.C. floods and mudslides by conducting team-building activities.

The Coquitlam Express have found a way home after Mother Nature temporarily derailed their winning track.

The BC Hockey League (BCHL) franchise is flying back home today (Nov. 16) after floods and mudslides forced highways that connect the interior with the Lower Mainland to close.

Because of the weather phenomenons, the Express spent an extra night in Kamloops.

They left after their scheduled stay Sunday night (Nov. 14), but had to turn the bus around after major flooding and mudslides closed the Coquihalla.

"The Express would like to thank the community of Kamloops for opening their arms, Sandman Hotel who made accommodations for us to stay, the Kamloops Blazers, the many people who reached out to offer help and to everyone who was working to keep everyone safe on the highways," reads a team statement.

It notes the majority of Express players and staff are flying from Kelowna to Vancouver, while the rest wait for proper identification in order to fly.

Coquitlam was travelling back to the Tri-Cities after playing in Prince George Saturday night (Nov. 13), to which the team emerged victorious with their third straight win in defeating the Spruce Kings 3-1.

To pass the time, team bonding activities were conducted to boost morale for the junior 'A' athletes, most of which are between the ages of 16 and 20.

The Express are currently scheduled to host a three-game homestand starting Friday (Nov. 19) against the Trail Smoke Eaters at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

However, it's unclear if the BCHL will reschedule those contests resulting from the floods.

As of this publication, Highway 1 is closed between the Sumas exit in Abbotsford and Yale Road in Chilliwack, as well as between Hope and Spences Bridge.

Highway 5 (Coquihalla) is closed between Hope and Merritt, Highway 3 between Princeton and Hedley and Highway 7 between Hope and Kent.