An Okanagan couple living on a remote rural property near Cherryville got a rude awakening Tuesday morning.
A giant mud slide, eight meters wide and nearly a kilometer long, narrowly missed their home
“The stove started shaking and the dog started barking. It sounded like a giant helicopter was landing on the house, so I opened the door. My wife and I saw something huge coming thru the trees,” described Joel Hriczu
The slide roared down a stream bed and poured rock, mud and tree trunks into the Shuswap River about 7:30 a.m
“There was an idyllic series of waterfalls in the creek. Now it’s been torn out of the earth and deposited in the river over there,” said Ron Clempson, who lives nearby
The slide took place just below a Tolko cutblock.
Local resident, Tim Stacker, says they tried to talk the company out of logging the hillside but were unsuccessful
“It’s way too steep to log. It’s right above a funnel that goes by my neighbor’s house. We begged them not to do it,” said Stacker
Residents don’t believe it is a coincidence the slide occurred just months after the logging took place
“A couple of months later and we have slides. And we haven’t even had high water yet. It’s only gonna get worse,” added Clempson
No injuries were caused by the slide and there was no damage to private property, but nerves are raw
“I was terrified. I was still shaking at 3 a.m.” said Hricz
Hriczu added, he lives in the remote area for health reasons, but now he’s not sure if staying on his property is safe
A geotechnical engineer from the province and employees of Tolko surveyed the site Wednesday.
They are trying to determine if the slide was caused by logging or if it was a natural event.
It is expected to take some time before the cause of the slide has been determined.