Crews work to restore power after landslide near Site C dam

BC Hydro crews hope to have the lights back on in Old Fort, later today

Residents of a northeastern British Columbia community cut off by a slow-moving landslide could have power restored by the end of the day, if BC Hydro crews can make progress.

The Peace River Regional District says crews will be at work this morning and hope to have the lights back on in Old Fort, just south of Fort St. John by early evening.

Electricity was cut Monday as a hillside just west of Old Fort continued to slump, ripping a huge slab away from the hill and pulling dirt, trees, several power poles and the only road to Old Fort along with it.

RELATED: Petition to stop Site C dam falls short

The regional district said meetings about the emergency would be held in the afternoon in Old Fort and another gathering is slated for the evening in Fort St. John.

Officials have said the roughly 30 homes in Old Fort are not in danger but two properties have been ordered evacuated and the regional district has offered boat transportation to any residents wishing to leave via the Peace River to Taylor.

An update posted on the regional district website Monday says the possibility of a water taxi link to Taylor and a shuttle service to Fort St. John is still being explored.

RELATED: Slide near Site C dam prompts limited evacuation in northeastern B.C.

A landslide began creeping down the steep slope west of Old Fort early Sunday in an unstoppable skid that some residents have described as similar to a lava flow.

The Ministry of Transportation closed the only road to Old Fort a short time later, cutting off water to the community which depends on trucked supplies.

The slide is not far from the construction area for BC Hydro’s huge Site C hydroelectric project and the Crown utility says it is monitoring the situation closely but there is no evidence that work on the dam is linked to the collapse.

The Canadian Press

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