Salmon Arm  

Landslide hits homes

UPDATE 2:00 p.m.

The geotechnical assessment of the slope where the landslide occurred Friday is now complete, and emergency crews hope to have Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road open to alternating single lane traffic by Saturday afternoon. 

"The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is preparing to clear the debris and reopen the road to single lane alternating traffic during daylight hours only," said Ryan Nitchie with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District in a statement. 

The road is expected to open by 3 p.m.

The evacuation order remains in effect for the four homes in the area. 

UPDATE 12:50 p.m.

Geotechnical crews were assessing a land slide in the Sunnybrae area of the Shuswap from the air Saturday.

Ryan Nitchie, with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, said geotechnical crews were using a helicopter to assess the situation, noting the slope was deemed too unstable to allow crews to work at the base of the slide.

There is no telling when the Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road, in Tappen will re-open.

Nitchie said because the slope is so unstable, officials closed the road Friday night and are now waiting for the geotechnical assessment.

The slide happened Friday afternoon and destroyed two homes. Nitchie said two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Two additional homes along the steep embankment were evacuated, however, one home was unoccupied and Nitchie said the residents of the other home are staying with friends.

The only access to the homes east of the slide area is by boat and Nitchie said an emergency protocol is in place should people living there need help.

“B.C. Ambulance has set up a protocol for an emergency evacuation if necessary or if there is a medical emergency,” said Nitchie, adding RCMP is on scene providing security.

Nitchie said crews were unable to ascertain if there has been more movement of the area since the initial slide.

Crews were able to look at the slide area from the lake as well as from above, but were not able to access the property before night fell.

This is not the first time the earth has moved in the area.

“It's a steep-sloped area and there have been slides in the area previously,” said Nitchie.

One resident who lives less than two kilometres from the slide said last year, boulders came crashing onto the road less than 500 metres from his home.

“It was reduced to single-lane traffic for a few days and you went by at your own risk,” said the man, who has been in the area for 25 years, but declined to give his name.

A large cliff is directly behind his home and he said it is not uncommon to hear large rocks rolling down the slope crashing into trees.

The man said usually the trees stop the rocks before they reach his property, but one year a boulder the size of a basketball landed in his backyard.

UPDATE: 8 a.m.


The Columbia-Shuswap Regional District has issued an evacuation order in the area of a landslide that destroyed two homes near Salmon Arm, Friday.

The order was issued late Friday under the Emergency Program Act due to an immediate danger to life safety, the district said on its website and via Twitter.

The order is in effect for the following properties: 4459, 4467, 4473 and 4487 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road, in Tappen.

Residents were asked by RCMP to leave the area immediately.

Those in the area seeking further information or assistance are asked to contact the Shuswap Emergency Program at 250-833-5927 or visit csrd.bc.ca.

UPDATE: 10:45 p.m.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District says the landslide occurred on the 4400 Block of Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road, in Tappen.

The Shuswap Emergency Program has activated an Emergency Operations Centre in support of the incident. 

Two homes were damaged and additional homes have been evacuated for precautionary measures.

A geotechnical assessment was being conducted Friday evening to assess the area for further risk.  

The road is closed from 4459 to 4519 Sunnybrae Canoe Point Rd. 

ORIGINAL: 6 p.m.

Two people were taken to hospital after a mudslide in Sunnybrae, near Salmon Arm, Friday.

B.C. Emergency Health Services said both have minor injuries in the slide, which occurred after 4 p.m.

Shuswap emergency crews were called to the scene about a kilometre from the end of Hacking Road.

The Sunnybrae Community Association said traffic was blocked in the surrounding area, and may be closed for a few days. 

– with files from CTV Vancouver 

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