Evacuated residents at Keremeos rockslide side can go home Friday, but geotechnical review shows long-term risks this may happen again

Future risk at slide site

Residents will be able to return home Friday after a rockslide in Keremeos, but a geotechnical review shows lingering long-term concerns.

On Jan. 16, large boulders tumbled down the mountain across Highway 3 and into the Eagle RV Park in rural Keremeos, causing property damage and forcing the closure of the highway and the evacuation of the park.

The Regional District of Okanagan ordered an emergency geotechnical assessment, which was conducted by Ecora Engineering and Resource Group Ltd. In the meantime, the RV park was placed under evacuation order.

That assessment has now been completed, and the RDOS has decided to lift the evacuation order on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

But unfortunately, the report found that the property, in the 3000 block of 10th Avenue, is at risk of being hit by a rockslide again in coming years.

"Based on the observations made during our site reconnaissance and review of historical documentation, the probability of re-occurrence of rock fall from the source zones above the subject property is considered 'Very High' as there are no permanent mitigation works in place and is therefore considered an on-going threat to residents’ life-safety," the report reads.

The RDOS says the the report is intended to provide information to "assist property owners and residents in making an informed decision about next steps."

The report recommends permanent rock-fall mitigation measures like "ditch and berm configuration or steel mesh barriers."

Cost for such measures will likely be significant, the report adds.

The full report can be read online here.

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