Crews work to clear rockfall on Lake Country road

District of Lake Country crews work through Wednesday evening, Feb. 3, 2021, after a rockfall closed Pelmewash Parkway around 3:15 p.m. (District of Facebook - Facebook)District of Lake Country crews work through Wednesday evening, Feb. 3, 2021, after a rockfall closed Pelmewash Parkway around 3:15 p.m. (District of Facebook - Facebook)
District of Lake Country crews work through Wednesday evening, Feb. 3, 2021, after a rockfall closed Pelmewash Parkway around 3:15 p.m. (District of Facebook - Facebook)District of Lake Country crews work through Wednesday evening, Feb. 3, 2021, after a rockfall closed Pelmewash Parkway around 3:15 p.m. (District of Facebook - Facebook)
Area resident Malcolm Hett said he’s glad he moved his van when he did or the damage could have been more substantial. ‘Just a minute before this, I was parked on the opposite side of the road clearing the rocks from the first smaller slide,’ he said. (Malcolm Hett - Facebook)Area resident Malcolm Hett said he’s glad he moved his van when he did or the damage could have been more substantial. ‘Just a minute before this, I was parked on the opposite side of the road clearing the rocks from the first smaller slide,’ he said. (Malcolm Hett - Facebook)
Rocks broke free and fell onto Pelmewash Parkway Feb. 3, 2021, around 3:15 p.m. in Lake Country closing the road for at least two days. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)Rocks broke free and fell onto Pelmewash Parkway Feb. 3, 2021, around 3:15 p.m. in Lake Country closing the road for at least two days. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)

Pelmewash Parkway will remain closed until 6 p.m. Thursday as crews continue to clear the road after a rockfall yesterday afternoon.

The rockslide took place around 3:15 p.m., Feb. 3, near the recently installed canoe sculpture, located at the midpoint of the parkway.

Photos were taken by drivers in the area that showed rocks scattered across the width of the road, with multiple vehicles visible in the rubble.

Area resident Malcolm Hett shared his experience on the Lake Country Facebook group accompanied with a photo of his van sitting atop the rocks. Only moments before, Hett said he was parked on the other side of the road clearing rocks from a different slide.

“Glad I moved it when I did or the damage would have been much worse,” he shared. “No one was hurt, but my Aussie Shepherd was a bit shook up.”

Rockslides are not an uncommon occurrence along Pelmewash. Residents reported rocks falling on the road as recently as Sunday.

Area resident Lori Schenk Smith said every time she drives the roadway, she worries about how unstable the rocks look.

“You could tell that huge sections of solid rock have broken free and just seem to be hanging on somehow,” she wrote on the Facebook group. “I, for one, am not at all surprised by this and figured it would happen. Glad nobody was hurt.”

Karen Miller, Lake Country’s communications officer, said an extended period of freeze and thaw cycles has recently led district crews to monitor the rock faces along Pelmewash Parkway more closely.

A geotechnical engineer has been brought in to assess the slope stability, according to the District of Lake Country.

While work is underway, the road is closed to thru traffic. Emergency first responders and transit buses will be allowed through the affected area under the direction of flag personnel but all other traffic must take Highway 97 or Oyama Road between Oyama and Winfield until the roadway is deemed safe.

Ponderosa residents are still able to access the neighbourhood through the south end of Pelmewash Parkway from Winfield, heeding direction of flag personnel on-site.

READ MORE: Rockslide triggers emergency road closure in Lake Country

READ MORE: 16 more deaths, 414 more positive COVID-19 tests in B.C.


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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