B.C. Interior home saved from falling into nearby Nicola River

·2 min read
On July 31, a contractor hired by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District excavated the house trailer, which stood on a portion of land that had been badly damaged by extensive flooding last November, putting the house at risk of falling into the Nicola River. (Michael Brandie Coutts MacArthur/Facebook - image credit)
On July 31, a contractor hired by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District excavated the house trailer, which stood on a portion of land that had been badly damaged by extensive flooding last November, putting the house at risk of falling into the Nicola River. (Michael Brandie Coutts MacArthur/Facebook - image credit)

A house trailer off Highway 8 in B.C.'s Interior has been saved from falling into the Nicola River with help from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

On July 31, the district hired a contractor to move the house from a portion of land near Spences Bridge with assistance from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, emergency program co-ordinator Kevin Skrepnek confirmed in an emailed statement to CBC News Tuesday.

"[This] was done in accordance with provincial and federal regulations, and was a successful operation," Skrepnek said in the statement.

The land on which the house of Edith Rubner stood had been badly damaged during last November's atmospheric river event, which caused widespread flooding and washed out huge portions of highways, including the Coquihalla and Highway 8.

Rubner's father bought the 70-acre property in 1972. The Nicola River has taken 15 acres of land, including equipment, vehicles, storage sheds, the pumphouse and their electricity.

Three weeks ago on CBC's Radio West, Rubner said the house trailer — used as a second home — and its porch were just four feet away from the widening river bank, and not enough was being done to save her family's property.

Micheal MacArthur and Brandi Coutts
Micheal MacArthur and Brandi Coutts

The district later told CBC that rescuing the house would be challenging because there wasn't road access to the property, but that it would consider other possible options, including getting an excavator from a worksite farther down the river to move the trailer.

The district didn't specify in its statement how it relocated the house trailer, but Rubner's neighbour, Michael Coutts says it was lifted by an excavator. He posted a video of the two-hour excavation process on social media.

WATCH | The excavation of a house trailer on the verge of falling into the Nicola River

 

"It's intact and none of the windows broke, and the roof is intact," he told host Sarah Penton on CBC's Radio West.

"It's a huge relief."