The City of Campbell River has declared a state of local emergency as it continues to investigate the landslide that forced the evacuation of two condo buildings earlier this week.
“Further investigation into the landslide that occurred behind 738 Island Highway South on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, highlighted matters in need of further investigation that may pose risks to the surrounding area,” the city said in a statement Thursday.
The slide drew police and firefighters to the waterfront neighbourhood south of the city’s downtown core. Approximately 30 residents were immediately displaced by the slide while many more were barred from entering the buildings on Wednesday.
The city announced Thursday that a temporary evacuation order had been put in place for 738 Island Highway South, and an evacuation alert had been issued for surrounding properties, including 758 Island Highway South.
Staff will review the evacuation order on Friday, the city said.
“We recognize that a prolonged evacuation is difficult and that residents will be eager to get back into their homes,” said Drew Hadfield, acting city manager, in the statement.
“Our top priority is public safety, and while we are working diligently to get people home as soon as possible, we must first ensure that it is safe to do so. By declaring a state of local emergency, we can make sure the city has the access and abilities it needs to do this necessary work and make sure the area is safe for residents to return.”
The city said it is working with the Strathcona Regional District and the district’s Emergency Support Service program to assist displaced residents.
A reception centre for residents affected by the evacuation order and alert will be available in the Dogwood Room at the Strathcona Gardens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, the city said.
Residents of the evacuated building can contact ESS by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 250-203-1972.
Security personnel will monitor the landslide site during the state of local emergency, which will be in place for seven days unless the city deactivates it sooner.
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