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Road to Old Fort reopened, evacuation order lifted for landslide-isolated community

WATCH: Landslide forces evacuation of community in Old Fort, B.C.

The majority of residents in northern B.C.’s Old Fort can now begin returning home, a month after their small community was isolated by a landslide.

The slide was triggered at the end of September, wiping out power and the only road in and out of the small subdivision south of Fort St. John.

READ MORE: Entire community of Old Fort ordered to evacuate 1 week after nearby landslide

A week later, the Peace River Regional District ordered the entire community — about 59 homes — to evacuate.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Transportation said access to Old Fort had been restored through the construction of a semi-permanent road over the landslide.

WATCH: Northern community copes after being cut off by landslide

Northern community copes after being cut off by landslide
Northern community copes after being cut off by landslide

“I would like to thank the residents of Old Fort for their patience during this difficult time and the crews who worked hard to get the road built so swiftly,” said Transportation Minister Claire Trevena in a statement.

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“We know this has been a stressful time for people who had to be evacuated, and I’m happy to hear the road is in place and people are able to return to their homes now that it is safe to do so.”

A new, temporary road has been constructed to the community of Old Fort, which was isolated by a landslide at the end of September.
A new, temporary road has been constructed to the community of Old Fort, which was isolated by a landslide at the end of September. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

One property in the community remains under evacuation order and three others remain under evacuation alert.

BC Hydro says power was restored to the community on Oct. 22.

Officials had reported challenges in restoring road access, with the slide area remaining geologically unstable.

WATCH: Aerial view of Old Fort landslide

Aerial view of Old Fort landslide
Aerial view of Old Fort landslide

A week after the slide, BC Hydro said the earth in the area was still moving about four metres per day.

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

Residents were evacuated from the community by boat and taken to Fort St. John.

The ministry says that while the road is open to local traffic, it remains a construction zone and load and speed will be limited on the route.

Residents are also being asked to report any signs of slide movement or other incidents to local maintenance contractor Yellowhead Road and Bridge at 1-888-883-6688.