All Old Fort, BC., residents ordered to evacuate due to landslide

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Old Fort Road is the only way in and out of the community of the same name. The landslide has made it impassible.

The Peace River Regional District has ordered the entire area of Old Fort evacuated, a week after a slow-moving landslide cut off the only road to the small community in northeastern B.C.

In a statement, the district said the order was issued because of an “immediate danger to life” due to a landslide that struck last Sunday a short distance from the community, which has about 30 homes.

The district has issued previous evacuation orders and alerts to a number of properties throughout the week.

“Information collected during the helicopter survey of the area and ground truthing showed evidence of stress cracks and other signs of instability throughout the area west of the main slide, and upslope of Old Fort Road on the east side of the main slide,” PRRD protective services manager Deborah Jones-Middleton said.

She said the order was given because continued movement of the main and reactivated slides now pose a risk to public safety.

Boat taxis and buses will be transporting evacuees to a reception centre at the Pomeroy Sport Centre in Fort St. John, just north of Old Fort.

Domestic animals — including dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils and fish — will be allowed on the boat taxis and buses if they are caged or on a leash.

The district said residents should not return home until the order is rescinded.

The landslide has been ripping up the earth near the small town since Sept. 30, knocking out heat, power and water for residents.

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The district said a helicopter survey of the area found evidence of stress cracks and other signs of instability throughout the area.

It’s also posed a risk for crews, who aren’t able to access the area, the district said.

The district said the landslide’s movement remains “significant and unpredictable.” Recent snowfall has also reduced visibility.

SOURCE:MKARIMU MEDIA AND NEWS AGENCIES

 

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