Slide prompts call for action

Considerate work was needed to reopen Mabel Lake Road after Cooke Creek burst its banks near Kingfisher, creating a landslide and flood. - Jackie Pearase photo
Considerate work was needed to reopen Mabel Lake Road after Cooke Creek burst its banks near Kingfisher, creating a landslide and flood.
— image credit: Jackie Pearase photo

There is pressure to determine what caused a large landslide east of Enderby.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is demanding the provincial government thoroughly investigate what led Dale Lake to burst and send about nine million gallons of water down Cooke Creek, causing a slide that cut off Kingfisher residents May 2.

“We want answers and we will press for them,” said Ron Baker, community protective services manager.

It’s been suggested that the flooding and slide occurred when a beaver dam broke loose at Dale Lake. However, some officials have speculated the ground gave way because water in the lake could not drain through a plugged culvert.

“Who put the structure in? That should fall in under the (provincial) dam folks,” said director Mike Macnabb.

The Cooke Creek slide comes about three years after a dam burst in Oliver.

“It’s becoming more prevalent it seems,” said Baker, adding that there have been discussions in the past that the province turn control for dams over to local governments.

“We’re not taking the hand off for all things. We are seeing more frequency where there is a risk.”

Beyond the Ministry of Forests investigating the cause of the slide, RDNO is awaiting the findings of a geotechnical report looking at possible ongoing hazards along Cooke Creek such as unstable slopes and trees.

A focus of the report may also be the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre, which sustained widespread damage and is not two metres below the creek bank.

“It may be cheaper to move the facility than to try and adequately protect it,” said Baker.

Another issue is that the slide washed a lot of trees into the Shuswap River and they are making their way to Mara Lake.

“People have to be aware that there will be debris in the river and the lakes,” said director Jackie Pearase.











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