PRRD Board requests data to back up Ministry’s claim on Old Fort Landslide

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District Board has reviewed the letter sent by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General in response to a previous letter sent by MLA Dan Davies regarding the Old Fort Landslide.

In a statement, the Regional Boards says the Minister’s letter suggests that the area is unlikely to experience a dramatic slippage of the remaining hillside.

“The Minister’s letter suggests the area is unlikely to experience “a dramatic slippage of the remaining hillside that might further impact homes to occur. The data suggests that if movement was to recommence, it would be a slow-moving slide as had been experienced in the previous slide that initiated on September 30, 2018.”

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The Regional District Board is requesting from the Ministry the data that substantiates this statement.

From there, once that data is provided, the Regional District says they have plans to have the data verified by applicable experts to consider whether evacuation alerts and orders may be removed from the Old Fort area.

In response to Davies’ letter, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth said landslide experts have provided information that shows it is “unlikely” for a dramatic slippage of the remaining hillside, but instead suggests that a slow-moving slide would occur, as experienced before.

According to Farnworth, given the risk assessment, the Government currently has no plans of monitoring the entire hillside, adding that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has established an operating protocol to respond to any movements.

“Given the risk assessment of this slide, there is no current plan to monitor the entire hillside. MoTI has established an operating protocol to appropriately respond to any level of movement affecting the Old Fort Road. This protocol ensures that access is safely managed for workers and residents. Strategies are in place to ensure that information is shared with both provincial and local governments in a timely manner. It is noted that the sensors that are in place to monitor the access road provide additional warning of any landslide movement and that very minimal movement, as would be expected, has been detected since the initial slide.”

As for hill stabilization, Farnworth says the Province has no current plans to reshape or revegetate the slope and that landslide mitigation measures are not currently being considered as it currently poses no risk of sliding.

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