‘Everybody’s unit here was shaking’: Keremeos, B.C. RV park sustains damage from rockslide

Click to play video: 'Keremeos RV park sustains damage from rockslide'
Keremeos RV park sustains damage from rockslide
An evacuation order remains in effect for residents living in the path of Monday's rockslide. The slide came down near Keremeos Monday and as Taya Fast is learning, despite significant damage to two structures, no one was injured. – Jan 18, 2023

Dozens of people are still on an evacuation order following a rockslide near Keremeos, B.C., on Monday.

Two large boulders came across Highway 3 before smashing through nearby Eagle RV Park. Despite significant damage to an RV and structure at the park, no one was injured.

“Everybody’s unit here was shaking,” said Eagle RV resident Kyle Heller. “I feel really bad for my neighbour, Sherry — her trailer is demolished.”

Read more: Rockslide west of Keremeos, B.C. closes Highway 3 in both directions to ‘heavy traffic’

Heller’s trailer was narrowly missed by the two boulders. One landed in an empty lot on one side of his property, the second crashed into his neighbour’s trailer on the other side.

“It was pretty scary when it was coming down, hearing those thuds across. I (saw) it impact the highway, took out the quonset right in front of me, the fence, there was a lot coming down.”

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“The one that launched right into my neighbour’s trailer, I seen that one coming right for me. I grabbed (the dogs) and jumped for the bed because it was on the other side of the trailer, and just hoped for the best.”

Click to play video: 'Rockslide along Highway 3 west of Keremeos'
Rockslide along Highway 3 west of Keremeos

Heller and his neighbours were told to evacuate Monday evening, unsure as to when they will be able to return home.

“We first said we would be back the next day, so we only grabbed enough for a night,” said Heller.

“Then we found out it could be three to 30 days without a roof over our head. This is all we have down here, this is our home.”

Click to play video: 'Highway 97 slope stabilization work causes major delays'
Highway 97 slope stabilization work causes major delays

In the meantime, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) has opened an emergency support services reception centre at Victory Hall, 427-7th Ave., in Keremeos.

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“The reception centre has been activated to support residents on Evacuation Order due to a rockslide west of Keremeos in Electoral Area G,” read the RDOS press release.

Area residents reported via social media that the slide started around 6:30 a.m.

The hillside above Highway 3 between Ashnola Road and 10 Avenue gave closing a section of road for 1.6 kilometres.

The highway reopened Tuesday afternoon following a geotechnical assessment.



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