Soils still slipping in Peachland

Since a landslide above Highway 97 Jan 6 in Peachland, unstable soils have continued to crumble away says the municipality.

The original slide occurred just off Renfrew Road in Peachland Jan. 6.

Land on a now-unstable hillside above Highway 97 at the south end of Peachland is continuing to crumble.

According to the municipality, additional soil continues to fall away along the undermined area of a large slide that occurred just off Renfrew Road in Peachland Jan. 6.

The original slide send earth tumbling down the hillside onto part of Highway 97, closing the highway for several hours. Since then, as frost thaws the ground, previously frozen, unstable areas are also crumbling away. The district says this was expected.

EXTRA: Slide could cost $1 million

More earth came down on the weekend and a previously compromised power pole—now disconnected— is expected to fall as well.

Renfrew Road remains closed to traffic at the location of the slide and the area is fenced off to keep people away from the slide area.

Traffic lights have been installed farther south on either side of a one-way section of Renfrew that allows access for area residents.

A speed reader board has also been installed on Highway 97 by the Ministry of Transportation to remind drivers to slow down to the posed 70 kilometres per hour limit in the Hardy Road area, where additional traffic will be making left turns.

All properties affected by the original slide damaging the area sewer system have had their sewer service reconnected and no evacuations were required. Houses are not currently at risk, says the municipality.

“The District of Peachland’s first and foremost priority is securing the site and safety of the public and residents,” said Mayor Cindy Fortin.

“This has been achieved and will remain our top priority as we move forward with repairs.”

Consultants and municipal staff have been working on options for repairs since the original slide and, while a short-term fix would cost about $250,000, those are being described as “throw away costs” when a permanent fix is made. A permanent repair will cost will be at least $1 million, says the municipality.

Peachland council will decide int he next few weeks whether to go the short-term route  or wait for the weather to cooperate and move to a permanent, long-term solution.

A permanent fix will take three to four months to complete.