The B.C. government has agreed to cover the cost of a $30,000 early warning system to alert residents of the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park in the event of a debris flood or debris flood. (Google Earth image)

The B.C. government has agreed to cover the cost of a $30,000 early warning system to alert residents of the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park in the event of a debris flood or debris flood. (Google Earth image)

Province to fund early warning system for landslide risk to Sicamous mobile park

Two Mile area mobile park at high risk of debris flood, possible debris flow

The province has agreed to fund an early warning system to alert residents in the Two Mile area of potential landslides.

The warning system was one of the options recommended by BGC Engineering following its assessment on the impact the 2,500 hectare Two Mile Road wildfire in 2021 had in the area of Sicamous and Wiseman creeks.

BGC found he damage left terrain above the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park unstable, creating a high risk of a debris flood, and possibly a debris flow.

BGC determined there is close to a 100 per cent chance of a debris flood occurring in the next two years as vegetation regrows.

“It was recommended this early warning system be put in place before spring melt and rainfall increase the risks,” reads a March 22 media release from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD). “The system is designed to use weather forecasting data to determine whether an evacuation alert or order would be issued for residents in the area.

“The warning system needs to be based on forecasted weather data because, once rain has begun to fall, it is already too late to notify residents of the risk and have them safely evacuate.”

At its March 9 meeting, District of Sicamous council agreed to cover the $30,000 cost of the warning system as Emergency Management BC had yet to commit.

“We’ve got to have a warning system in place for the safety of those people… We can’t wait for other people to make decisions on this,” commented Mayor Terry Rysz.

CSRD protective services team leader Derek Sutherland told council the warning system is ready to be implemented as soon as the CSRD can give the go-ahead.

According to the CSRD, now that the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has agreed to fund the warning system, work on its development and implementation has already begun, and it’s expected to be operational at the beginning of April.

Read more: Sicamous agrees to fund $30,000 for debris flow early warning system

Read more: Sicamous trailer park at increased risk of debris flow following summer’s wildfire


lachlan@saobserver.net
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