Northern B.C. community copes after being cut off by landslide

Click to play video: 'Northern community copes after being cut off by landslide'
Northern community copes after being cut off by landslide
WATCH: The residents of Old Fort north of Fort St. John are dealing with a landslide that buckled the only road in and out of their community. Tanya Beja reports – Oct 2, 2018

Residents of Old Fort, a subdivision south of Fort St. John, say they are waiting for answers after a landslide destroyed the only road leading to the community.

“The biggest thing is just waiting to see what kind of help we’re going to get as far as the road, getting access in and out, and getting power to our houses,” resident Gord Pardy said.

“We’ve got below-freezing weather, we can’t leave our houses.”

WATCH: Aerial footage of Old Fort landslide

Click to play video: 'Aerial view of Old Fort landslide'
Aerial view of Old Fort landslide

A slab of earth gave way Sunday, carrying trees, debris and three power poles with it.

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“As a safety precaution, our crews disconnected power to the area which resulted in an outage to about 52 customers,” BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott said.

“They’ve been working really hard today to install two new temporary 80-foot poles as well as re-stringing the lines, and we’re hoping to have everyone’s power restored by the end of today.”

Sixty-eight evacuees were sent to Fort St. John, many of them by boat along the Peace River.

The Peace River Regional District is hosting two meetings Tuesday; one for evacuees and another for the residents who stayed behind.

The Ministry of Transportation says it’s unclear when a replacement road will be rebuilt.

“We have our geo-technical engineers on site really just reviewing what’s going on,” Scott Maxwell of the Ministry of Transportation said. “The deposit is still moving, so at this stage we’re watching it to see what happens before we can get crews in there to actually start establishing a road.”

Maxwell said landslides are not uncommon in the Peace River Valley, but the size of the current slide is much larger than usual.


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