A section of the only highway into the northern community of Stanley Mission has been washed out.

As a result, the reserve is temporarily without road access to the rest of the province.

The washout occurred over the weekend and created a large crater in the highway, but it’s not believed anyone was hurt.

Saskatchewan Highways spokesman Doug Wakabayashi says the ministry realizes the urgency of the situation for local residents — and that’s why it is hoping to have the road re-opened by Wednesday.

Wakabayashi notes the washout occurred at the same location that experienced washouts during flooding this past July.

Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson says highway workers have begun preparations to insert a culvert into the damaged road so residents of Stanley Mission can return to their homes.

She adds gravel will soon begin getting hauled to the site.

Cook-Searson notes, because it’s considered an emergency, Saskatchewan Highways is permitted to bypass some Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulations when making repairs to the road.

The culvert is considered a temporary fix, with more work expected in the spring.

Cook-Searson adds people who need rides in an out of the community should call 635-7200 to make arrangements.

She says 70 residents of Stanley Mission are currently stuck in Prince Albert, but there is a band councillor ready to assist them.