B.C.'s most recent extreme-weather event has cost at least four lives, according to a statement issued this morning by Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe.
She pointed out that the body of one person was found on November 15 and another was located on November 17 in the vicinity of the Duffey Lake mudslide north of Pemberton.
Two more deceased people were discovered on November 18. Efforts to find a fifth missing person on November 19 were not successful.
"Despite incredibly challenging conditions, the dedication and teamwork demonstrated by everyone involved in the search are a testament to the professionalism of each organization, and I wish to recognize the significant efforts of our partners throughout this difficult time," Lapointe said.
The mudslide occurred during an intense and long-lasting rainstorm that also led to unprecedented modern-era floods in Merritt and Abbotsford.
“I also extend my heartfelt condolences to the families who are now grieving the sudden and unexpected death of their loved one, and to the family of the missing person we have so far been unable to locate," Lapointe added. “This has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us in B.C., and my heart goes out to the many families and communities who have suffered tragic losses."
She concluded her statement by saying that the B.C. Coroners Service will do its best "to determine the facts of these tragedies for the public record and, where possible, make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future”.