Update expected following mudslide

Update expected following mudslide

Two properties in Summerland were evacuated following slide on March 30

A state of local emergency has been extended for two properties along Garnett Valley Road following a mudslide a week ago.

The extension was announced on Friday.

Linda Tynan, chief administrative officer for Summerland, said reports from the municipality’s geotechnical engineer indicate there is a continued risk in this area. and further assessment is required.

Indications of ground instability are present.

Discussions are also continuing between property owners, geotechnical engineers, professionals, municipal staff and Fortis B.C.

The state of local emergency was initially issued on March 30, after a mudslide.

An area about 10 metres wide at the crest of the slope above the road, consisting of soil and tree debris flowed down the slope into the south corner of a home at 21207 Garnett Valley Rd. It also washed out the slope below the house to the southeast and onto the northeast corner of the property at 21025 Garnett Valley Rd.

Tynan said the municipality’s role now is to ensure municipal infrastructure is protected and the area is safe for the public.

The state of local emergency means the municipality is eligible to apply for funding through the provincial Emergency Management Program.

In addition to the mudslide, the municipality is also monitoring its snowpack levels. The latest snowpack measurements, taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake on April 1, showed the snowpack is 159 per cent of normal.

This high snowpack could result in flooding if the area receives heavy precipitation or if the temperature suddenly heats up and speeds the melting process.

“It all depends on the weather,” Tynan said.

Because of the wet weather in the forecast, residents of Summerland are encouraged to be aware of any ground movement as very high groundwater levels are being experienced.

Slopes may be saturated and subject to groundwater erosion or slippage. If there are signs of such movement, individuals should leave the area immediately, the municipality states in a news release.