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Domtar Kamloops mill bracing for temporary curtailment due to ongoing washouts to rail lines and highways

CANADA (From news reports) -- There may have to be a temporary curtailment at the Domtar Mill in Kamloops, because of ongoing washouts to rail lines and highways.

That is according to Rene Pellerin, the President of Unifor Local 10B, who says right now it is mostly business as usual at the mill.

"We have a warehouse that we store pulp in in these times and we're building a temporary warehouse and hopefully they can open up a rail line and get some pulp down there, but we might have to have a curtailment," he said.

"But we are hoping we can just run and eventually the roads will open up for us to ship our pulp down to the coast."

Pellerin says the Domtar Mill ships pulp to the Lower Mainland by truck or by rail.

"CP takes it out of our pulp warehouse," he said. "We also use trucking firms on their back haul. They haul [things] up here and then on the back haul they take pulp down. They are all bound by the roads and the rails, so we'll wait till those routes open up and hopefully our pulp keeps on going."

In a statement, CP Rail said it expects to have its rail line from Kamloops to Vancouver open by today, Nov. 23, while CN Rail expects to do so tomorrow, Nov. 24.

Meanwhile, Highway 3 from Hope to Princeton is open for essential traffic only connecting the Interior to the Lower Mainland, though there have been intermittent closures because of washouts or crashes. As well, there have been closures to Highway 5A between Merritt and Princeton and on Highway 7 between Hope and Agassiz.

"We are storing pulp, and once that storage is over with I guess, we'll have to make a decision whether we're running or not," Pellerin said.

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