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Geotech probe concludes; state of local emergency lifts at Campbell River mudslide

Report confirms the necessary steps taken by the city to support public safety – mayor
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Roots, tree trunks and mud pile up against a parkade that collapsed in a mudslide at the 700 block of South Island Highway in Campbell River Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. The City of Campbell River lifted a state of local emergency Feb. 3 after a geotechnical investagtion was concluded. File photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

With the conclusion of a geotechnical investigation, the City of Campbell River has lifted the State of Local Emergency (SOLE) it declared after a landslide occurred Jan. 17 behind 738 Island Highway South.

The city has been working to assess and clean up the site during the recovery phase of the incident response. The location was immediately evacuated and the site was secured. Within days, debris was removed from the site, building inspections were completed, and residents were permitted to return home.

“The geotechnical report provides a foundation of information that confirms the necessary steps have been taken by the city to support public safety following this event,” says Mayor Kermit Dahl. “The city appreciates the incredible response and support of the emergency services, the Strathcona Regional District Emergency Support Service program, and all the volunteers and businesses who contributed their time and services during the response and recovery efforts.”

READ MORE: Island Highway condos evacuated after mudslide in Campbell River

As part of the recovery process, the city engaged WSP Canada Inc. (WSP), a leading engineering consulting firm, to conduct a preliminary geotechnical assessment.

The assessment looked at immediate public safety and environmental considerations and focused on the safe return of evacuated residents to their homes, which was permitted on Jan. 21. The findings from WSP highlight that natural groundwater can be observed coming from the location of the landslide and following a similar trajectory to that of the landslide debris.

The potential for further, smaller movements of the slope were identified and short-term actions were recommended and implemented by the city to restrict slope access and support public safety. The assessment also provides follow-up recommendations that the city will consider moving forward.

The city noted that the slope is private property and that the city’s involvement in medium and long-term recommendations has not been defined.

The city is committed to sharing information with the public and property owners and the geotechnical report will be made available on the city website.

Throughout the event, 30 volunteers from Emergency Support Services and the Salvation Army contributed over 200 hours of volunteer time. If you are willing to become a supplier or volunteer with the Strathcona Regional District Emergency Support Service program to help with short-term basic support, contact preparedness@srd.ca.

For more information, and to access the report, visit www.campbellriver.ca.

READ MORE: Neighbour lives in fear of ongoing Island Highway landslide threat

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