Campbell River fire crews rescue two seniors trapped by mudslide, four homes evacuated

Four homes were evacuated in the Holly Hills area Sunday morning after a localized mudslide trapped two seniors in their home. Firefighters rescued them from the building. Photo by Katie Denne

Four homes were evacuated in the Holly Hills area Sunday morning after a localized mudslide trapped two seniors in their home. Firefighters rescued them from the building. Photo by Katie Denne

The City of Campbell River issued an evacuation order for four homes in north Campbell River Sunday morning after heavy rain caused a slope to give way in the neighbourhood.

At about 7:05 a.m., the slope behind the home at 2211 Park Rd. gave way, causing a mud slide that brought down a mature tree and pushed the root ball into the home, a press release from the City of Campbell River says. The slide damaged the home, and the impact of the tree partially collapsed the home, and shifted it from the foundation, trapping two seniors inside. Fire crews safely removed the people from the home. They are now staying with family.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt when the bank gave way,” says city manager Deborah Sargent. “A preliminary investigation by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. has confirmed that the heavy rains appear to have saturated the ground above the bank in this area, and surrounding homes upslope and adjacent to this property are being evacuated as a precaution.”

A mandatory evacuation order is in effect for properties at 2211 Park, 2223 Park, 2205 Park and 2238 Steelhead Road while a professional with specific geotechnical experience in slope failures and slides investigates ground conditions and determines the stability of the bank.

“For the safety of the people living in these homes, the evacuation order will remain in effect until the bank and surrounding properties can be fully assessed,” adds Mayor Andy Adams. “We are working with emergency personnel to provide supervision in the event that people need access to the properties to acquire essential items, such as prescriptions, pets or other necessities. We are also arranging for Emergency Social Services to assist people with shelter and emergency supplies and with relocating livestock as necessary.”

The city is working to arrange for slope assessment to begin as soon as possible. It could take several days to determine the condition of the bank, and the evacuation order will remain in place until these homes are deemed safe.

Roads in the area remained open, but signs and barricades went up to alert drivers of localized flooding elsewhere in the community caused by elevated flow levels in Nunns Creek and the Campbell River, combined with high tides that slow draining from these waterways to the ocean. Drivers should use caution along Willis Road, along 16th Ave. from Maple to Ironwood, and along Perkins Road.