GRANDVIEW BEACH – Lakefront cottage owners gathered Tuesday to discuss next steps.
“Because we are where we are, we’ve fallen through the cracks and I don’t think we deserve to fall through the cracks,” said Jodi Dillabough.
“No pun intended,” one of her neighbours pointed out.
“No, you’re right, no pun intended,” she said. Their cabins have literally fallen through large crevasses in the earth, which keep expanding. An evacuation notice was given June 30th to nine cottage owners after a devastating landslide, caused by erosion and heavy rainfall, made the buildings unsafe.
Cabins teetered on the brink of falling into the lake. Now, a month later, they have begun to collapse. Still, they’ve received no support from the province. Owners have reached out to the Water Security Agency and their local MLA. Insurance doesn’t cover landslides, but since the situation is so extreme, they hope the province can come forward with some sort of compensation or at least assistance to clean up the mess.
“We’ve been talking to the council, which is just three people. It’s a small resort staff so they don’t have any engineers or technical staff working for them,” explained owner Gerry Lucik.
Meanwhile, owner Jane Howie explained the emotions being felt by the community: “It’s like losing a part of you. As a kid, I grew up here. My nieces and nephews grew up here and it’s really, really sad.”
They’re not blood relatives, but the owners are all very close. Howie added, “It’s beach family. These cottage owners have been down here for over 40 years.”
The Wasnik family was one of the last to arrive Tuesday to some of the worst damage so far. Their cottage was the first to give way and completely collapse.
“You’re not going to knock the bottom three feet of the Gyprock off and replace it. This is done. You ain’t fixing this,” said Bryan Wasnik.
“We have nothing left. We have no land to rebuild,” said Wasnik’s sister, Brenda Miller, through tears.
All they can do is console each other as they wait to hear from the province.