Engineers say Twin Lakes fissure not a result of construction work

A rift, which is approximately three metres wide and 10 metres deep at the top, has opened up on a hillside above a Twin Lakes home

Sam Verigin stands behind a boulder that broke loose from a hillside about 300 metres above her home at the site of the new Kaleden Acres development.

Sam Verigin stands behind a boulder that broke loose from a hillside about 300 metres above her home at the site of the new Kaleden Acres development.

A fissure that has opened up on a hillside above a Twin Lakes home is most likely a pre-existing defect that’s unrelated to earth works associated with a new subdivision, according to B.C. government engineers who examined the site.

The rift, which is approximately three metres wide and 10 metres deep at the top, made headlines last week after Sam Verigin, whose home lies about 300 downhill from the area off Highway 3A, went public with concerns about her safety. She’s worried that if the hillside lets go, rocks could barrel down the slope and into her home.

However, engineers have determined “it’s unlikely that there’s any imminent risk” to her home, said Murray Tekano, district manager for the B.C. Transportation Ministry, which is the lead government agency on the file.

“We don’t think that rock will come down at this time in a big mass. Our geotech engineers’ assessment is that the majority of movement has happened. What you’ll probably see is little bits of rock or chunks falling.”

Pieces that do fall off the face of the slope are likely to stop in the soft dirt at the toe of the hill or on the paved road beyond it, Tekano continued.

“Any that did make it over the edge, it’s unlikely, again, that it would affect the property owner below in our assessment… because the property and the house is at an oblique angle away from the slope. So again, we don’t view it having any imminent risk as a result of that.”

Tekano said it’s the engineers’ opinion that the fissure did not result from construction of the switchback above which it’s located. The switchback was built to allow access to the upper reach of the new 20-lot Kaleden Acres subdivision.

“The sense (engineers) have is that (the fissure) was something which had been evolving and probably this year, with increased dampness, the extended moisture and stuff hasn’t helped it,” Tekano said.

“The rock face has kind of come away from the material behind it and it’s moved a little bit down, but it’s (the engineers’) opinion that at this time that the majority of the movement has probably happened.”

Tekano said because publicly accessible Resolute Road lies below the unstable slope, the landowner will have to draft and execute a plan to make the area safe.

Kaleden Acres developer Mark Goulden said last week he will have his own engineers look at the slope and come up with a course of action. Goulden did not respond to a request for comment this week.

Verigin said the site was quiet over the long weekend, although someone has re-erected a barricade to keep people off the switchback.

The bed-and-breakfast operator said she was told by B.C. government staff that she would be kept updated on a planned course of action, but hadn’t received any news as of Tuesday morning.

Her story was reported in several media outlets last week, which she hopes will put pressure on authorities to remedy the problem quickly.

 

“Hopefully something positive is going to come out of this,” Verigin said.

 

 

Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
UPDATE: Fire above Naramata is an illegal open burn

Smoke is still billowing from the blaze Friday morning

Rob and Anthony are the city’s new parking ambassadors who are sharing information with businesses and the public about the new pay parking. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Penticton hires team to inform people on city’s new pay parking system

The pair will spend at least a month helping businesses and residents navigate new pay parking system

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

A search is underway for David Borden in Oyama, since he was last seen Wednesday, June 16. (Contributed)
Search underway for missing Okanagan man

Vernon Search and Rescue, RCMP checking via land, water and air

A truck rolled several times off Highway 6 in Coldstream Thursday night, sending two to hospital. (RCMP photo)
Rollover near Vernon sends 2 to hospital

Highway 6 closed temporarily while emergency crews extricated occupants

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Most Read