Other News Stories
by Avi Silberstein on May 21 2013
by Contributor on May 21 2013
by Nelson Daily Sports on May 20 2013
by Shara JJ Cooper on May 17 2013
by Contributor on May 17 2013
by Andre Carrel on Friday May 24 2013
by Murray Dobbin on Friday May 24 2013
by Joseph Hughes on Thursday May 23 2013
by Kyra Hoggan on Monday May 20 2013
by John King on Thursday May 16 2013
Emergency over, recovery ongoing following massive mudslide at Johnsons Landing
Now that the recovery mission has been shut down, the focus of the recent Johnsons Landing slide is turning to the residents, who some, may be able to return home as soon as Thursday (August 2) officials said.
That decsion will come after officials finish survey the mudslide.
During the next two days a team of geotechnical experts from SNT Engineering Ltd. will be surveying the slide and damages both from the air — with a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) remote sensing technology — and on the ground.
The team must determine what potential danger remains in each region of the slide is before residents will be allowed to, either return home, or be able to remove belongings from their homes, said Francis Maika, public information officer with the Central Kootenay Regional District (RDCK).
Residents will be escorted to the site.
Presently 14 properties remain on the evacuation list but Maika anticipates several of those homeowners may be able to return home by the end of the week.
Of those people, most have found accomodations either with friends or family. A few remain under emergency social services, which have been extended due to the circumstances, said Maika.
The RDCK has now been handed the gauntlet from the BC Coroners Service to continue the emergency response, clean up and recovery efforts at the Johnsons Landing mudslide. The district has created a five-phase technical work plan that began this week.
Phase 1 is the establishment of a system for landowners to have access to their property which includes safety protocols like site escorts, spotters and limited access.
Phase 2 is happening this week with the creation of map data for long-term geotechnical with rated hazard zones. Monday (July 30), two excavatros and a D8 Cat are at the slide to fill in a low spot at the steepest part of the slide to allow geotechnical experts safe access to the sight for the ground level mapping.
Maika said the Johnson`s Landing slide is comparable to the slides historically experienced in Frank, B.C., in the Crowsnets Pass, and the massive Hope slide.
``No one expected a landslide of this magnitude,`` said Maika, adding the psychological impact of going home will be just as hard as dealing with the physical difficulties of the slide outfall.
``There are still a lot of safe places in Johnsons Landing and people are there going on with their lives but with the knowledge that another land slide is a potential.``
Until more is known, visitors and residents are urged to respect all signage in the area and to stay away from the landslide, which is still considered extremely dangerous.
Maika said there have been reports of people climbing on the slide zone despite the security and extensive signage warning people of the danger.
The forensic team hopes to be able to examine the head of the slide, which remains unstable at this time, sometime in September or October.
The team is looking to determine cause and potential reoccurence.
``Slides are a part of the terrain,`` said Maika. ``But it was different this season with the amount of rain fall we had.``
The mudslide, which hit the small hamlet of about 35, killed four people and wiped out three houses on the last morning of Thursday, July 12.
Three of the bodies have since been recovered — Rachel Webber, 17, father, Valentine, 60, and older sister Diana.
The BC Coroners Service said reluctantly, no further efforts will be undertaken to try to locate the body of German national Petra Frehse, 64.
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said a sizable excavation effort was completed at the former site of her residence but, because of the absence of artefacts recovered and due to the catastrophic impact of the slide at that site, the experts have concluded that there is no reasonable likelihood of locating Frehse.
'Although the total expense of this recovery operation is yet unknown, Maika said much of it should be covered by the provincial emergency response fund.
Once a community declares a state of emergency the search mission is eligible for special emergency funding.