Northeast B.C. community cut off by slide has heat, power, but no answers

The slow-moving slide has carried away the only road leading to the neighbourhood south of Fort St. John

Residents of a northeastern B.C. community say heat and power has been restored but they are still without water and there’s no indication when the earth will stop moving around Old Fort.

A slab of earth has sloughed away from a steep hillside a short distance from about 30 homes near the community.

The slow-moving slide has carried away the only road leading to the neighbourhood south of Fort St. John.

Old Fort resident Bobbi Pardy says through Facebook messenger that crews worked through the night to restore power but the Peace River Regional District is still unsure how to get water to the community.

She says a major crack has formed on a ridge between the original slide and the community and she hopes geotechnical engineers will check it soon.

The regional district held community meetings in Old Fort and Fort St. John on Tuesday and has set up a regular water taxi service on the Peace River to link Old Fort residents to the nearby town of Taylor.

No one has been injured since the hillside began to slump early Sunday but two properties remain on evacuation order while all other Old Fort homes are on evacuation alert.

Businesses in Fort St. John are helping Old Fort residents who have chosen to stay in their homes, says Pardy.

“Save-On-Foods will box up groceries for us and we pay by credit card and somebody else will deliver it to the river boats to bring to us,” she says.

The supply lines are reassuring and Pardy says with power restored she can make bread again.

But she says the shifting earth remains a worry.

“It’s moving slowly, like lava, but every morning when we wake up and go … to the slide site, we are taken aback by how close it is getting to us.”

The Canadian Press


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