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State of emergency on Gellatly

A local state of emergency has been declared for the Gellatly Road slope failure.

West Kelowna mayor, Doug Findlater made the declaration Monday.

Gellatly Road, from approximately Witt Road to Angus Drive, has been closed since May 2 due to erosion of the bank on the west side of the road, adjacent to Smith Creek.

The province has confirmed $440,250 in emergency funding will be made available through Emergency Management BC, with the support of the Regional Emergency Program, to conduct emergency repairs to the roadway.

Recognizing that the District had planned to upgrade this section of Gellatly Road in 2015, the municipality is working cooperatively with the province on this emergency construction, and will contribute $1.3 million in order to conduct repair and upgrade works at the same time.

The Local State of Emergency was called in order for the municipality to access the powers authorized in Section 12 and 13 of the BC Emergency Program Act.

The slope failure has put the roadway at risk, which is a transit and emergency services route, and also a nearby water main, a gravity sewer main (owned by Regional District of Central Okanagan) and private utility infrastructure.

A geotechnical report indicates there is high probability that additional erosion will occur and that stabilization measures should be carried out immediately in order to protect the public, the existing embankment and roadway as well as buried and overhead utilities.

Emergency works will begin immediately starting with the temporary relocation of the sewer line. Works will involve either the installation of a culvert for Smith Creek to flow through or placement of rip rap armor along either side of the channel, depending on approvals from the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The District expects the work to be done within five weeks.

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