A mudslide in the 1100-block of Martin Street Monday afternoon caused evacuations and has city officials checking the slope’s stability. (Aaron Hinks photo)

A mudslide in the 1100-block of Martin Street Monday afternoon caused evacuations and has city officials checking the slope’s stability. (Aaron Hinks photo)

Mudslide on White Rock hillside

Four residences evacuated after Monday afternoon collapse

Heavy rains Monday likely contributed to an afternoon mudslide that threatened the stability of a section of White Rock’s hillside.

“They lost a chunk of their backyard,” deputy fire Chief Ed Wolfe told Peace Arch News Tuesday, of the home where the main slide occurred.

“The area impacted was probably 150 feet by 200 feet.”

The slide occurred in the 1100-block of Martin Street around 4:30 p.m., and sent debris onto the back of the Victoria Terrace complex, at 15025 Victoria Ave., Wolfe said.

Four residences were evacuated; no one was injured, he said.

Nearby residents gathered near the scene Tuesday morning to take photos of the aftermath. Two patios attached to the Victoria Terrace condominium building appeared to have sustained damage.

Two homes remained taped off Tuesday.

Wolfe said City of White Rock operations staff and a geotechnical engineer were assessing the site.

“It’s unpredictable,” Wolfe said, when asked if the site is safe. “It’s a pretty steep grade there.”

He said it is too early to say if rain was the only factor.

White Rock RCMP tweeted Tuesday that all streets are open and traffic is “minimally affected” on Victoria Avenue.

Local rail service was also affected due to slides in the area, according to an Amtrak service alert issued Monday.

BNSF Railway imposed a temporary track closure on Monday afternoon, the online alert noted, which affected the Bellingham to Vancouver passenger-train service.

Alternative bus transportation was to be provided for travellers until Wednesday afternoon.

Early Tuesday morning – at midnight and again at 1 a.m. – two slides in the Colebrook area of Surrey also caused track closures, BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas told PAN.

The early-morning slides covered “both sets of tracks” with about four feet of debris for about 30 feet, Melonas added.

Crews had the tracks cleared by 3 a.m., and freight operations were re-opened, though Melonas said a 48-hour passenger-train moratorium was instituted, which would last until early Thursday morning.

“BNSF has been keeping a close eye on conditions… and we’ll re-assess (after the 48-hour moratorium),” he said.

– with files from Aaron Hinks & Nick Greenizan

 

(Aaron Hinks photo)

(Aaron Hinks photo)