Major slide closes Rennell Sound road

  • Sep. 3, 2014 7:00 a.m.

About 40 campers were stranded in Rennell Sound Sunday night (Aug. 31) after a major landslide blocked the only road out. Port Clements resident Cari Manz, who had been camping for the Labour Day weekend with a group of Port residents, got out Monday evening after the road was partially cleared by an excavator. “Let me tell you, I am happy to be home,” she said. “No more camping this year.” Everything looked fine when she drove out to Rennell Sound Friday evening, she said, but the weekend was exceptionally rainy, with heavy precipitation all day Saturday and Sunday. By Sunday, the Clapp Basin camping spot looked like “a big giant mud bog”, she said. The group learned of the landslide when Port resident Matt Gaspar tried to leave Sunday evening and had to turn back. “He came back and said, we aren’t going anywhere,” Ms Manz said. The group had a marine radio, which they used to call for assistance. By Monday morning, Stan Maclean was working to clear the road with his excavator and Ms Manz and others were able to get out by around 4:30 pm. People were told to leave immediately while they had the chance, she said, and many of them had to leave behind trailers and boats. Larry Duke, district engineering and recreation officer, said the slide occurred Aug. 31 between 7 and 7:30 pm at the 11 kilometre mark, just before the big hill going down into Rennell Sound. The slide was about 50 metres wide and stretched more than 250 metres to the top of the hill where it originated, he said. There have been several landslides in the area, he said, but this was one of the largest. Mr. Maclean worked for five hours with his excavator Monday and managed to clear the road enough that those who wanted to leave could get out. Mr. Duke said all campers in the area were notified of the situation and warned that they might not be able to leave again for a couple of days. Some people who had already planned to camp for the week decided to stay, he said. As of Tuesday morning, the road remained officially closed, Mr. Duke said, with plans to keep working as long as the weather was good enough and get it open as soon as possible. Landslides are a risk on the back roads of Haida Gwaii during the rainy season, and Mr. Duke said everyone using these roads should be cautious as we move into fall.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s a sign for Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii signs will be bi-lingual to respect language

Skidegate man arrested following Queen Charlotte RCMP investigation

Man faces possible drugs and weapons charges

Cannabis and vaping 101

RCMP invite community to engage in cannabis and vaping dialogue workshops

Council Briefs | Village of Queen Charlotte: January 6

Grant writing, flood mapping, and the Seventh St. cleanup on the agenda

Pair of Haida Gwaii sailings cancelled due to windstorm

MV Kwuna will be parked due to the adverse weather

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Coastal GasLink work camp in Vanderhoof gets approved by the ALC

The work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport was first rejected by the commission in October last year

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read