Water rushes through a Wiseman Creek culvert at the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park on Thursday night, May 5, 2022. (Brett Ogino photo)

Water rushes through a Wiseman Creek culvert at the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park on Thursday night, May 5, 2022. (Brett Ogino photo)

Evacuation alert triggered by landslide risk lifted for Sicamous Mobile Home Park

Community praised for engagement and response

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be rescinding an evacuation alert for all residences of the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park.

Derek Sutherland, team leader of protective services for the regional district, said Monday morning, May 9, that the weather forecast, and the early warning system in place for the mobile park, indicate it is unlikely a landslide will be triggered. Therefore, the evacuation alert in place since May 5 for the mobile park’s 27 residences will be lifted.

“The community responded incredibly well to it,” said Sutherland. “They were ready, they were engaged, they were calm and they did all the right things, and we’re incredibly happy with how the community responded and very happy we didn’t have an event.”

Prompted by precipitation, the alert was issued by the (CSRD) on Thursday morning, May 5. Residents of the mobile park were warned there was a risk of a landslide near Wiseman Creek, and were advised to prepare for possible evacuation.

On Friday, though the alert remained in effect, the CSRD announced conditions in the Wiseman Creek drainage had improved overnight as precipitation levels dropped from earlier in the day.

“Rainfall amounts were not significant enough to trigger a landslide; however, the threat remains,” said the CSRD in a media release.

“The Shuswap Emergency Program is closely monitoring forecasting reports from its Early Warning System,” said the CSRD release. “This will guide decisions about when it may be appropriate to lift the evacuation alert.”

The May 5 evacuation alert was the first issued since the early warning system went into effect in April.

Sutherland explained the system is designed to learn from when precipitation levels exceed a set threshold. (This occurred Saturday, though the amount of rainfall was at the lowest level of concern.) The early warning system determines when an evacuation alert, or order, should be issued.

“We will refine the tool so that it becomes more predictive. We had a couple of exceedances and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens up in the watershed,” said Sutherland, explaining someone will be going to have a look to see if there’s any evidence of a landslide. If so, the Shuswap Emergency Program will seek funding to have a geotechnical engineer do an inspection.

Read more: Landslide risk prompts evacuation alert for residents of Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park

Read more: Province to fund early warning system for landslide risk to Sicamous mobile park


lachlan@saobserver.net
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