Captain Glen Beierle and another firefighter hold off the section of West Bench Hill Road Thursday afternoon after a landslide closed the road. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

UPDATED: Likely hours before West Bench road opens after slide

Landslide reported at West Bench Drive and Highway 97

UPDATE: 1:46 p.m.

Penticton firefighters expect it will take more than a couple of hours to clean up West Bench Hill Road after it was closed due to a landslide.

The landslide is about 100 metres in width, and several feet deep at its deepest point, extending slightly past the yellow line in the middle of the road.

Argo Road Maintenance is on site, but Captain Glen Beierle said it would likely be a fair bit longer than a couple of hours to clean up.

He said due to instability in the hillside, a geotechnical engineer would likely need to be called in and some of the unstable chunks of land knocked down from the hill.

“We’re just going to keep the area secure until the highways deal with this,” he said, referring to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“With all the rain and stuff we’ve had, it could be (a risk for more landslides).”

Despite fire crews blocking the road off, a driver in a camper continued to drive through the road.

“That’s a thing that happens, right? People don’t get it. People are looking at the slide and the blinking lights and not paying attention,” deputy fire chief Denis Smith said, adding it is a safety concern.

“We’re aware of people don’t always do the right thing, and we’re as prepared as we can get for that. We’re watching them. We know they’re not watching us.”

—-

ORIGINAL: 12:59 p.m.

A landslide at West Bench Hill Road has closed the two lanes of traffic.

Emergency services were called out around 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. There are no injuries reported.

A detour has been set up at Sage Mesa Drive and Highway 97.

Argo Road Maintenance is on site. Firefighters estimate it will take a couple of hours to clean up.

This story will be updated as more information comes in from our reporter on the scene.

Just Posted

Still time to register for today’s Cyber Security Table Talk presented by Valley First

The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce event still has seats available

South Okanagan kettle program in need of volunteers

The Penticton Salvation Army kettle program has 700 slots to fill

Penticton business fulfills breakfast club wish list

Business stepped up to make sure the school district’s breakfast program runs smooth

Penticton Vees player on NHL Central Scouting players to watch list

The list includes seven current BCHL skaters

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Most Read