Final evacuation orders lifted in Old Fort, B.C., years after landslides

A slow moving landslide is seen inching down a hillside in northern British Columbia, prompting the evacuation of nearby Old Fort, B.C., in an undated handout photo. HE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lands, Marten Geertsema

Final evacuation orders have been lifted for an area of northeastern British Columbia affected by slow-moving landslides that began more than three years ago.

A notice on the Peace River Regional District website says the orders covering several properties and sections of two roads near the community of Old Fort have been rescinded.

Evacuation orders and alerts were issued in October 2018 and June 2020, after a steep hill slumped above the community of about 50 homes.

Read more: Creeping slide prompts evacuation alert, road closure in Old Fort, B.C.

The only road connecting Old Fort to the nearby city of Fort St. John was first cut off during a severe slide, then torrential rain caused the hillside to slip more.

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Thirty-five residents filed a civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court one year ago alleging negligence and a breach of charter rights to health and security because access to their properties was not “stable and assured.”

A report in December from the Transportation Ministry promised further geotechnical studies and said the best option for access to Old Fort is the existing road alignment.

Click to play video: 'UBC engineers release report into November flooding disaster'
UBC engineers release report into November flooding disaster

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