UPDATED: Landslides necessitate rescues east of Prince Rupert

PRGSAR called to action in ground and air rescue at Work Service Channel Rd.

Thirteen people were extracted to safety by Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue crews, after landslides blocked Lachmach Forest Service Rd. and Work Channel Service Road, 42 km east of Prince Rupert, on Aug. 16.

Prince Rupert Ground SAR was assisted by Terrace SAR in the emergency evacuation where four people were taken out of the blocked area by helicopter and nine others were assisted by road. Some evacuees had navigated out on foot prior to SAR intervention. An additional nine to 13 people boated to Prince Rupert. There are approximately 19 vehicles including boats, trailers and trucks left behind the slide.

“Three moderately sized landslides occurred at 9 km, 11.4 km and 11.7 km on the Forest Service Rd., which connects to Work Channel Service Rd, are blocking the road. The road is closed as a result and equipment will be required to remove the debris,” a spokesperson for Ministry of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development told Black Press.

“This area has a history of terrain stability and sensitivity issues,” FLNRORD said.

The North Coast area has been hit by heavy rain during Aug. causing further slope instability.

Signage, warning of possible landslides, has been posted on sign-boards and the road has been closed with temporary barricades.The area is a highly used camping, coastal fishing recreation area and boat launch.

“The Ministry’s first priority is the safety of the public,” FLNRORD said. “Coordination efforts are occurring with Emergency Management BC (EMBC), RCMP and local government to ensure the well being and safety of those behind the slide.”

READ MORE: Torrential rain caused dangerous road conditions near Prince Rupert

Despite the signage and the rescue operations, people are still camping and fishing in the area, Erik Brooke manager for Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue said.

There is currently a group of five people that have chosen to remain camped with enough supplies for two weeks. No injuries have been reported as a result of the slide, FLNRORD said.

Also in the area is Victory Cove Fishing Lodge, a floating lodge that can be accessed by water from the FSR.

“The lodge has been notified by EMBC of the FSR closure because many clients use this access route for the lodge. EMBC has confirmed that some owners of the remaining vehicles are clients of the lodge,”FLNRORD said.

“It is always a risk that someone could have been in the slide,” Brooke said. “When people are stranded by natural disasters, they are advised to contact the RCMP, who will then activate Search and Rescue groups through the Emergency Coordination Centre.”

Prince Rupert Ground SAR attends between eight to 15 calls per year. Brooke said it is important to be prepared when heading out camping and fishing by leaving a trip plan with someone and taking a communication device with you, as well as a personal locator beacon.

With files from Rod Link

READ MORE: Heavy rainfall warning


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Planned upgrades didn’t go as planned

CityWest said a fibre-line break caused outages to all customers

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

BC Ferries Sailing Cancellations

Prince Rupert - Haida Gwaii - Northern Adventure

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read