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

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Most Read