1 week later, 22 Kamloops residents still out of their homes due to slide risk

One week after Kamloops, B.C., declared a local state of emergency, 22 residents are still out of their homes due to the risk of a landslide.

On April 27, the city ordered the evacuation of the area underneath an unstable slope north of the subdivision of Rayleigh, near the Sun Peaks turnoff on Highway 5.

Since installing monitoring equipment on the slope last week, the city says it has noticed continued movement that has prompted them to extend the state of emergency for at least another week.

"[The slope] is continuing to move downward, slowly but consistently, so our concern is still there for the residents," said Tammy Robertson, information officer for the city's emergency operations centre.

Highway 5 remains open, though the Ministry of Transportation is monitoring traffic and the area has been designated a no-stopping zone.

Slope still soggy

Robertson said the instability is due to a combination of melting snow and a spring above the problematic area of the slope.

She says the city is in the process of installing piping to divert water from the spring away from the slope, which should allow the hill to dry out and stabilize.

Environment Canada is forecasting potential thunderstorms in the area on Thursday and Friday, but warm and dry weather from Saturday onward.

Robertson said most of the 22 residents are staying in hotels, but they are allowed to return to their homes on a short-term basis, with the exception of children.

She says support services have been extended until May 23, but the slope's movement in the weeks to come will ultimately determine when residents will be allowed to return home for good.

"We've been honest with them to say, we really need time once the water has been diverted to see what's happening with the slope, to make sure that it is actually stabilizing and safe for them to go home," Robertson said.

"They've been extremely cooperative and very pleased with the services being provided to them, but of course they want to get home as soon as possible."

With files from Doug Herbert.