Salmon Arm  

Fuel from crashes contained

Despite two major accidents, there appears to be no environmental damage to local waterways.

On May 15, a tug sank near Cape Horn - northwest of the Cinnemousun Narrows on the main arm of Shuswap Lake.

The tug was raised may 18, and officials say very little diesel fuel spilled into the lake.

Ministry of Environment has informed Interior Health only a small amount of diesel fuel leaked from the tug and that any diesel that had leaked was contained within protective booms installed at the site. Based on this assessment, Interior Health is confident that there is no longer a potential risk to water users in the area and the water advisory has been lifted.

On May 16, a tanker truck that crashed in the 1400 block of Mabel Lake Road about six kilometres east of Ashton Creek.

The fully loaded tanker truck flipped over as a result of the accident and there were concerns gas and diesel could spill into the Shuswap River.

The tanker was removed from the site Thursday.

Ministry of Environment and environmental consultants on scene informed Interior Health no fuel has reached the river, and diesel and gasoline that spilled was captured and contained within the protective booms put in place following the accident. 

Based on this assessment, Interior Health is confident that there is no longer a potential risk to water users downstream.

Diesel spills from tug

Interior Health is warning residents on Shuswap Lake to be cautious with their water after a logging tug boat spilled diesel fuel Monday. 

The boat sank near Cape Horn, northwest of the Cinnemousun Narrows on the main arm of Shuswap Lake, Monday afternoon. 

A "small amount" of fuel is visible on the surface of the lake, according to IH. 

While the boat contained 4,000 litres of fuel, IH believes only a fraction of that has entered the lake.

"Crews are currently on scene with divers working to contain and remove the tug before any further fuel can spill," said Karl Hardt, IH communications consultant.

IH is warning residents on the western arm of the lake to check for the odour or taste of fuel in their water. 

"This means no drinking, showering/bathing or brushing teeth if a fuel odour is detected," Hardt said. "Diesel fuel can pose a health risk following ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption."

The warning comes after 4,000 litres of gasoline and 12,500 litres of diesel spilled into a flooded field adjacent to the Shuswap River when a tractor trailer hauling fuel left the road.

Diesel thief confronted

A Sicamous man confronted a suspected fuel thief and got his truck smashed while doing it.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said on May 10 at approximately 10 p.m., police responded to a report of an attempted theft of fuel from a logging site off of Highway 97A near Sicamous.

“The caller reported that he had been alerted to the attempted theft through a surveillance camera and that he had gone to the site to confront the suspect without calling police,” said Moskaluk. “When the man arrived, the suspect got into a pick-up truck and sideswiped the complainant’s truck causing heavy damage to both vehicles in his attempt to escape.”

The victim followed the fleeing suspect vehicle onto Highway 97A and then onto a forest service road while calling 911 to report the incident before losing sight of the suspect vehicle.

Police later located an abandoned blue Ford F250 pick-up truck that matched the description of the suspect vehicle with heavy damage on the driver's side.

The truck had been reported stolen from Salmon Arm on April 24.

“Police reminded the man that attempting to confront someone who is committing a crime in progress without the police present, especially alone in a remote area is dangerous," said Moskaluk. "The man, who was uninjured by the collision with the suspect's truck, agreed."

Police are continuing their investigation in an effort to identify the suspected thief. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or the Sicamous RCMP at 250-836-2878.


Evac order partially lifted

Most of the residents forced to flee their homes due to the threat of a mudslide in the Shuswap can go home.

The evacuation order issued by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District on Saturday, May 6, has been rescinded for 11 properties in the Robinson Creek area of Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road.  

The occupants of 5866, 5874, 5882, 5890, 5900, 5922, 5933, 5940, 5941, 5947 and 5948 are now permitted to return to their property.  

However, two properties, 5921 and 5932 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Rd., remain under an evacuation order.

The evacuation alert issued on Thursday, May 11 for seven properties in the Robinson Creek area, has also been rescinded.

Slide-covered road reopens

Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road reopened Saturday at Robinson Creek, the site of a landslide that destroyed two homes and left one man presumed dead.

The road is open to single-lane, alternating traffic during daylight hours.

Scheduled openings are at 6 and 9 a.m., noon, 3 ad 6 p.m. Vehicles are not be permitted through the site between 6:15 p.m. and 6 a.m., the Columbia Shuswap Regional District says.

The site will be reassessed Monday to determine if expanding open hours is warranted.

Motorists should expect delays and take precautions to ensure the safety of workers on site. 

Landslide evacuation alert

While cleanup has begun on the landslide that destroyed two homes in the Shuswap and left one man presumed dead, danger in the area still remains.

An additional seven properties have been placed on evacuation alert on Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road in Tappen, near where the landslide took place Saturday morning.

The new evacuation alert covers homes between 5951 and 5990 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Drive.

“The analysis indicates that due to the complex nature of the alluvial fan, in combination with the snowpack present on the plateau and the forecast for potential heavy rain that the residents of the seven properties be prepared to evacuate on short notice,” states a notice from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

Thirteen properties, from addresses 5866 to 5948 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Drive, remain under evacuation orders.  

Work begins to clear slide

An evacuation order remains in effect for Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road in the Shuswap while crews work to clear a mudslide that destroyed two homes last week. One man is missing and is believed to have died.

Officials from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) advise that construction crews began work to clear the slide debris from the 5900 block of Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road on Tuesday.

The work is being performed under strict monitoring to ensure the safety of the workers as the slide area remains active.

Water continues to impact the road surface and significant damage to the road infrastructure requires repair.

Residents should expect heavy vehicles hauling material to the disposal area east of the slide on Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road beginning Wednesday.

At this time, access through the site will only be permitted to MoTI construction vehicles. Public access through the site will not be permitted until a culvert can be installed and the route is deemed to be safe. This is expected to occur in the next seven days, weather and conditions permitting.

In the event of an emergency beyond the slide area, MoTI will work with emergency services to provide access. An evacuation order for thirteen properties from 5866 to 5948 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road remains in effect.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District will continue to provide updated information on its website as it becomes available.

For all emergency related information requests and inquiries contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 250-833-3351.

Kyllo sweeps Shuswap

UPDATE: 10:15 p.m.

Incumbent Liberal Greg Kyllo has been returned to office by voters in the Shuswap riding.

Kyllo won with 48 per cent of the vote in 2013 and garnered 56 per cent this time, compared to 26 per cent for NDP candidate Slyvia Lindgren, 16 per cent for Green Kevin Babcock and 2 per cent for Libertarian Kyle McCormack.

“We have worked hard on every-day, real-world issues for our constituents. This isn’t about the past 28 days, it’s about the day-to-day activities over the past four years,” said Kyllo.

“Outside of the riding, I’m very pleased with the organ donor initiative which saw a record number of life-saving transplants in BC last year.”

He was serving as the parliamentary secretary for the BC Jobs Plan at dissolution of the legislature. Prior to being elected as MLA, Kyllo was the president and CEO of Twin Anchors Marine/TA Structures for 24 years.

Kyllo sat on Sicamous Council in 2011 and was appointed deputy mayor. He and his wife Georgina have raised their four daughters in the Shuswap area.

UPDATE: 9:40 p.m.

With more than double the popular votes of his nearest competitor, Greg Kyllo is being declared the winner in the Shuswap riding.

The Liberal incumbent has a seemingly insurmountable lead of almost 56 per cent compared to 25.9 per cent for NDP rival Sylvia Lindgren.

Kevin Babcockff with the Greens is holding third with 16.5 per cent.

UPDATE: 9:15 p.m.

Barring a stunning reversal, it appears Liberal Shuswap candidate Greg Kyllo is heading back to Victoria.

As of 9:15 p.m., the incumbent MLA had garnered a whopping 56 per cent of the popular vote, nearly double his nearest competitor Sylvia Lindgren of the NDP who has 26 per cent of the vote.

Kevin Babcock of the Green Party is falling behind with 16 per cent of the vote and Libertarian Kyle McCormack has two per cent.


Shuswap Liberal candidate Greg Kyllo had an early lead in the provincial election race on Tuesday night.

Shortly after the polls closed 8 p.m., and with only hundreds of votes counted, Kyllo was out in front of his three competitors with 56 per cent of the votes counted.

The New Democrats Sylvia Lindgren had just over 26 per cent, while Green Party candidate Kevin Babcock had 15 per cent. 

The Libertarian Party candidate Kyle McCormack had less than two per cent of the vote.

Shuswap road still closed

A Shuswap road hit by a serious mudslide last Friday remained closed on Tuesday.

“Seymour Main Forest Service Road remains closed as a result of mudslides which occured at 2 km and 3 km,” said a notice on the Columbia Shuswap Regional District website.

The Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources has not indicated a timeline for reopening of the road on the north side of Shuswap Lake.

A photo from the site following the slide shows mounds of mud and fallen trees on the roadway.

A separate mudslide early Saturday morning, along Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road left one man missing and destroyed two homes.

On Monday, RCMP said a search for the 76-year-old victim, Roy Sharp of Tappen, had become a recovery effort.

Missing man identified

Separate searches for two men believed to have been swept away by mud or water have been scaled back to recovery efforts.

Searchers said Monday they couldn't find any signs of a 76-year-old man from Tappen after a mudslide tore through his lake shore home on Saturday.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Scott West identified the man as Roy Sharp and said the family was "understandably upset" by the news that the search was reclassified from a rescue to a recovery operation.

He said the slide "moved the house from its foundation" and it remains "almost impossible" for crews to walk on the surface of the slide.

"We're being forced to pull back due to the substantial danger levels in the area and instability as a result of the mudslide," West said.

The slide on Saturday also cut off access to about 100 other homes in that area of the Shuswap. West said the mudflow blocking the road is anywhere between one and 2 1/2 metres deep, and the Ministry of Transportation is involved co-ordinating the excavation.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk also confirmed Monday that the recovery effort for Cache Creek fire Chief Clayton Cassidy has been scaled back but was continuing.

"What happens in these cases, again, there's close monitoring and we watch the water levels. There are still boots on the ground with search and rescue personnel that are conducting shoreline searches," he said.

Cassidy disappeared early Friday morning when he was investigating deteriorating conditions along Cache Creek.

Village Mayor John Ranta says a bridge was damaged and the firehall was flooded, but cleanup was beginning.

"The water is still flowing. It seems to be ebbing and flowing and we are anticipating an increase in flows at some point in the future, but hopefully the worst of it is over," he said.

The River Forecast Centre says water levels were dropping in most rivers and creeks that had been swollen by spring melt and recent heavy rains in the southern and central Interior.

The centre reported Monday that the Salmon River in the Shuswap region remained on flood watch, while all other flood watches and high streamflow advisories had been lifted.

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