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Sunnybrae residents still evacuated

Muddy mess: Part of the debris flow from the April 23 McIntyre Creek slide. - Photo contributed
Muddy mess: Part of the debris flow from the April 23 McIntyre Creek slide.
— image credit: Photo contributed

Two Sunnybrae couples remain evacuated from their homes near McIntyre Creek following a mudslide that occurred just before noon last Wednesday.

Emergency Management BC and other provincial agencies received a verbal geotechnical report Monday confirming that a collection of debris remains in the creek channel along with pooling of water.

Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) assistant Cathy Semchuk says Environment Canada records indicate that 10 to 16 mm of rain fell  prior to the April 23 debris flow, and that, combined with the saturated ground from the snow melt, could have been a factor in the incident.

“The pooling of water, along with Environment Canada’s weather forecast of more rain for the Shuswap area later in the week, has determined the evacuation order must remain for properties located at the mouth of McIntyre Creek, until remedial work is performed to remove the risk and hazard,” Semchuk says, noting the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure continues work to repair the damage at the Sunnybrae-Canoe Point Road site.

SEP officials met with the residents who have been out of their homes for a week to assure them hotel and meal coverage has been extended.

“We’re proactive, we develop relationships with local hotels and restaurants, so when someone is evacuated, it’s a fairly clean process,” she says.

The Shuswap Emergency Program stresses that due to the instability of the area and other safety concerns, the public are asked to keep clear of the incident site. However, if you are required to travel through the work site, be aware that it is a ‘no stop’ zone.

In the meantime, Semchuk says several factors, including  a complete engineer’s report will be considered before the order is lifted.

With both warm weather and rain in the forecast, residents are asked to keep their eyes open and call the 24/7 Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456 to report a debris flow.

 

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