A shifting hillside near Fort St. John B.C., seen here in a recent handout photo, has damaged a gravel pit and severed a road, prompting evacuation of two properties. (Gord Pardy photo)

Some residents of landslide-threatened Old Fort, B.C., stage brief protest

Pacific Northern Gas says the line to the community should be repressurized by late Thursday and homeowners can then apply to have pilot lights relit

Residents of a British Columbia community who were ordered out of their homes nearly three weeks ago because of a slowly moving landslide briefly occupied a local municipal office, demanding answers about their situation.

Wednesday’s protest at the Peace River Regional District office in Fort St. John was prompted by a Pacific Northern Gas decision to cut the natural gas supply to about 50 homes in Old Fort, barely a day after power had been restored to the Fort St. John suburb.

The gas supplier says in a statement that the gas line to Old Fort was isolated because of safety concerns as some residents tried to relight gas pilot lights in their homes after electricity returned.

Pacific Northern Gas says the line to the community should be repressurized by late Thursday and homeowners can then apply to have pilot lights relit.

READ MORE: Electricity restored in slide-threatened northeastern B.C. community of Old Fort

Residents were also told that a draft report assessing the Sept. 30 landslide and identifying ongoing hazards is nearing completion and will then be analyzed by an independent geotechnical firm, which may provide additional recommendations.

All homes in Old Fort were evacuated Oct. 7, one week after the steep hillside above the northeastern community began to slump, tearing out the only road and knocking down power lines as it moved toward properties along the banks of the Peace River.

A post on the Peace River Regional District website says the draft report on the slide could be ready by late Friday but a delay is possible because provincial agencies recently forwarded “significant additional data” to the company preparing the study.

“When dealing with public safety, it is important to be right, rather than expeditious,” the post said.

In addition to assessing ongoing hazards, the regional district says Westrek Geotechnical Services will make recommendations “regarding whether it is safe for residents to return to their properties and under what conditions.”

The office says Westrek’s entire report, any recommendations from the independent geotechnical firm, plus any comments from provincial agencies will then be sent for a legal review before being returned to the regional district board for careful consideration.

“The report will provide guidance to the residents of Old Fort about the safety of their community with regards to the landslide risk,” the post said, although it provides no timeline for completion of the process.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Highway 97 in Lake Country reopens after police incident near Airport Inn

Traffic was backed up on the highway for several hours

Get your head out of clouds, Vernon

Fall fog sticks around all day in northern portion of valley

North Okanagan district seeks applicants for waste management advisory group

RDNO looking for 15 people from business, community sectors for working group

Leave gravesites alone: Vernon mother

Woman noticed the flower loop was missing from her son’s plot on the anniversary of his death

Man gets 18 months jail for dealing heroin, fentanyl in Vernon

Sung Hwan Choi, 23, found guilty of trafficking drugs from Lower Mainland in May 2019

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Keremeos Fire Department acquires new truck

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen approves fire truck purchases for Keremeos, Willowbrook

Most Read