HYDER, Alaska – Canada has closed a border crossing next to a tiny southeastern Alaska town during the overnight hours, but border officials say residents will still have access to emergency medical care.
Canadian officials began closing the road linking Hyder with nearby Stewart, British Columbia, on Wednesday, CoastAlaska News (http://bit.ly/1CpzFuA) reported. Hyder residents depend on Stewart for health care and mainland road access.
Hyder, which is about 75 miles northeast of Ketchikan, has fewer than 100 residents. Stewart is a few miles away has a population of about 500.
While an initial report said the move means Hyder residents will no longer have nighttime access to emergency medical care in Stewart, the Canadian Border Services Agency said responders have 24-hour access as do Hyder residents by telephoning border services.
Agency spokeswoman Jennifer Bourque says she wants to assure area residents that there will still be access for emergency services "in the event of a situation such as a medical emergency, natural disaster, or if there is risk to critical infrastructure."
Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org