Jocelyne Gilbert looks down into the deep Newsome Creek gully on Sunday, Oct. 28, which is becoming less and less stable. (File photo)

Engineers find ways to shore up Sorrento’s Newsome Creek

Mitigation work that would save houses along the eroding bank to cost five to six million.

Engineers have delivered their recommendations on ways to save the homes at risk from the creek bank erosion along Newsome Creek in Sorrento. The question remaining is who will pay for the expensive mitigation work.

Three option were proposed in the report compiled by engineering firms Westrek and Kerr Wood Leidal, ranging in cost from $4.8 to $6.2 million.

The area studied for the report spans 520 metres of the creek running from the Trans-Canada Highway to Shuswap Lake. The houses at risk from eroding banks are located along this stretch of the creek. According to a report from last fall, four properties along Sorrento’s Caen Road could be affected by imminent bank failure.

The latest report, dated June 7, which was discussed at the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s June 20 board meeting, said nine possible options for mitigating erosion and slope stability concerns were identified. After closer consideration and input from the community, three options remain for consideration. A rock-lined channel is one option and would cost $4.8 million. The other options are a culvert almost three metres in diameter and a sheet pile wall with bed stabilizers; they would cost $5 million and $6.2 million respectively.

“It’s a very concerning situation. We have people who are living in homes that are tottering on the edge of a ravine. Those folks are understandably anxious and they appreciate anything that we can do so they can be made whole again and this is a good step in that direction,”said CSRD Area C director Paul Demenok.

Read More: Erosion worries plague homeowners along Newsome Creek in Sorrento

Read More: Update: Residents urged to avoid Newsome Creek banks amid evacuation alert

CSRD board chair Rhona Martin noted that the mitigation options are very expensive. She added that a recent meeting with MLA Greg Kyllo and provincial government officials ended positively.

Demenok said he is delighted with the way the meeting went and attributed the province’s cooperative attitude on the Newsome Creek problem to correspondence recently sent to them by CSRD Chief Administrative Officer Charles Hamilton. The province had previously maintained that it is the responsibility of local governments to apply for funding for stream mitigation works. Hamilton’s letter placed the onus on the province by invoking the recent court decision which involved the District of Sicamous.

According to Demenok, there is disaster mitigation funding available which could be accessed by the CSRD and government ministries to perform work related to Newsome Creek. One part of the work which is already underway is the replacement of culverts where the creek crosses under roads. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told the Observer that six culverts would be replaced before spring 2020.

Read More: Court decision prompts CSRD to throw flood mitigation back at province

Read More: Regional district takes on Newsome Creek work

Demenok moved that a cost estimate be reached for assessment of Newsome Creek upstream of the Trans-Canada Highway as well as all the streams that feed into it to better understand the hazard. He said the study could be paid for under the disaster mitigation funding application which provincial agencies may be applying for to conduct other work related to the creek.

Hamilton said there are larger problems than Newsome Creek alone and agreed the study should be undertaken but said the onus could also be placed on the province to pay for having a cost estimate on such a study done.

The board approved the motion.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP called in North Shuswap about vehicle with U.S. licence plates

Police summoned on July 4 regarding car parked with California plates

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Road repaired after landslide in Seymour Arm

A temporary fix for a damaged water system has also been completed

Input wanted on cannabis grow near Gardom Lake

A temporary use permit is being considered for a Capri Road property

Shuswap potter’s empty bowls help fill food bank

Mud, Sweat and Tears’ Bruce Nyeste expects project to raise $12,000 for Salmon Arm’s Second Harvest

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

$500 fine for Vernon man caught near Coldstream playground

Richard Slobodian, 58, served one night in jail and ordered to pay for breaching probation

Most Read