OLD FORT, B.C. — British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation says an evacuation order has been lifted and almost all residents can return home to the small northeastern community of Old Fort, which was threatened by a slow-moving landslide for several weeks.
The entire community was evacuated Oct. 7, one week after the steep hillside above it began to slump, causing the only road into town to buckle and knocking down power lines as it moved toward properties along the banks of the Peace River.
Evacuation orders for some properties were lifted late last month, but the Peace River Regional District now says only one remains in place, while residents of three others should be ready to leave again at any moment.
The ministry says a semi-permanent road has been built over the existing slide, an automated monitoring system is providing continuous updates on movement in the area and an operating protocol is in place to respond if there are any concerns.
Although the road is open to local traffic, it will remain a construction zone with reduced speed and load limits, as crews continue to make improvements.
Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says in a statement that she knows it’s been a stressful time for evacuees and she’s happy to hear people are able to return home, now that it is safe to do so.