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Cawston mudslide leaves 12 still cut off after 5 days

The Elders who lived there were flown out by helicopter last week
A large mudslide cut off eight homes of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band on May 3. (Keremeos Community News - Facebook)

After five days, around a dozen people still remain trapped behind a slide in Chopaka south of Cawston on Monday.

The slide hit on Wednesday, May 3, cutting off the only road to eight homes of members of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.

Chief Keith Crow with the LSIB confirmed that the Elders who lived in the homes, barring one who decided to stay, were flown out by helicopter.

The slide itself ranges 2.4 to 3.6 metres deep as it passes over the road, and reaches more than 30 metres across as it comes down the hillside. Atop the slide is a section of water that has remained moving over the weekend.

“I’m looking at it right now and it’s still flowing,” Chief Crow said.

The Review spoke with Chief Crow on Monday on his way down to speak with AIM Roads at the slide to address what comes next. Currently, they are trying to determine where they can put some of the debris from the slide after clearing it.

The area where the slide came from, and where much of the debris originated, was scorched by the Stony Mountain fire. Two other creeks in the area have been

“We’ve been kind of anticipating a slide, but this creek wasn’t on our radar,” said Crow. “We were more worried about Susap Creek, and Shouty is the other one we’re monitoring right now.”

Supplies were flown in by helicopter that took the Elders out, dropping off food and water for the families stuck on the other side of the slide.

While there hasn’t been any flooding, and the cooler weather over the weekend helped slow the flow of water over the slide, Crow noted that the area is expected to warm up again over the coming week.

A flood warning is currently in place for the Similkameen Valley from the BC River Forecast Centre.

READ MORE: Waters recede in parts of flood-ravaged B.C. as half of province remains under threat

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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