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Williams Lake declares state of local emergency due to land slippage

Evacuation order issued for 4 Terra Ridge units, remaining 76 homes placed on alert

The city of Williams Lake has declared a state of local emergency at Terra Ridge, a housing development with 80 strata units owned predominately by seniors on the west side of the city.

The city issued an evacuation order for four units which were previously identified in an engineering report procured by the Terra Ridge strata. Additionally, the city issued an evacuation alert for the remaining 76 units located at 500 Wotzke Drive.

The engineering report found there had been significant damage due to shifting foundations and framing at three units. Shortly afterwards, on Sept. 15, 2023, the city activated its Emergency Operations Centre at Level 1 in response to the finding and “out of an abundance of caution, four units at Terra Ridge were issued a “do not occupy” order and have been receiving Emergency Support Services.”

At the heart of the matter is land slippage. The area has seen slow movement for years, with nearby Highway 20 and Dog Creek Road both showing signs of slippage in recent years.

In September of 2022 the city of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District released a slope stability study which identified large swaths of land on the west side of the city and outlying areas as high and moderate hazard zones. At that time the two governments noted the region is home to a number of historical landslide areas which are typically slow-moving slides that move progressively over a period of months or years.

The state of local emergency issued Friday allows the city to undertake emergency measures to respond to and limit any damages to health safety and property to the community.

- with files from Monica Lamb-Yorski

READ MORE: 4 Terra Ridge units in Williams Lake deemed unsafe, foundations shifting

READ MORE: Williams Lake, Cariboo Regional District release slope stability study

READ MORE: Hodgson Road land slippage likely cause of latest Williams Lake water main break: City

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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