The small landslide in Peachland last week that temporarily closed Highway 97 near Antler’s Beach could cost the municipality as much as $1 million.
According to Peachland CEO, Elsie Lemke, work is underway by engineers and geo-technical experts to try and figure out why the slide occurred Jan 6 on Renfrew Road above the highway, and what is the best way to repair the damage.
“The cause has not been determined,” said Lemke, but she said it appears to be connected to excess ground water as water is continuing to pour out of the damaged area.
She said a short-term solution will cost about $250,000 but those would be a “throw-away” costs.
No homes were threatened or injuries reported as a result of the slide but a municipal sewer main was was ruptured, leaving 45 residents temporarily without sewer service. It was quickly repaired. A B.C. Hydro power pole was also compromised and had to be relocated, which caused a temporary power outage in the area for a few hours.
One property’s driveway was affected by the slide and a temporary access has been created for that residence. Renfrew Road remains closed.
Lemke said a drone was flown over the slide site Wednesday to help engineers gather more information about the damage.
“The District of Peachland’s first and foremost priority is securing the site and safety of the public and residents,” said the district in a news release issued Wednesday. “This has been achieved, and will remain our top priority as we move forward with repairs.”
Lemke said while there have been small slides in the area in the past, it was unusual to have one occur at this time of year because the land is normally frozen.
As a result of the slide, debris came down on to the highway between the The Peach Castle B&B and Antler’s Beach. major damage was done to the highway but it was closed for a short time while the debris was removed.
Lemke said the municipality is hoping to get some financial assistance from the province’s emergency management program to help pay for the work that will need to be done to repair the slide area on Renfrew Road.
Council is expected to a decision in the next few weeks about whether to proceed with a short-term solution or wait to start on a long-term repair and rehabilitation effort.