A Thursday morning mudslide along Riverside Ave., occurred near the Old Trail Bridge.                                Guy Bertrand photo

A Thursday morning mudslide along Riverside Ave., occurred near the Old Trail Bridge. Guy Bertrand photo

UPDATED: Trail declares state of emergency

City declares emergency following Thursday morning slide along Riverside Avenue

UPDATE

State of emergency declared to ensure safety of a resident

TRAIL, BC (March 29) The City of Trail’s Mayor has declared a local state of emergency specific to 2188 Riverside Avenue to ensure the safety of the resident. The declaration is mandatory in order to evacuate the resident and to gain access to the disaster financial resources available through the Provincial Emergency Program.

This declaration comes after a small landslide occurred adjacent to the structure located on 2188 Riverside Avenue in the early morning of Thursday, March 29, 2018. The landslide caused minor damage to the yard and yard structures and no injuries were sustained.

“Safety of the resident is our main concern,” said Mayor Martin. “And with this declaration, the Regional Emergency Response Coordinator can access the disaster financial funds required to manage the costs associated with the displaced resident. Although a state of emergency declaration may sound alarming, we want to ensure Trail residents the slide area has been assessed by a landslide expert and no other homes are currently on evacuation alert.”

Emergency Social Services are assisting the evacuee to ensure they have an alternate place to stay until the slide area and their home and property can be reassessed next week.

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A Trail man is wondering what to do next after an early morning mudslide damaged part of his property.

Gord Guesford, who lives at 2188 Riverside Ave., in Trail, said he was awoken at 2:30 a.m. when his house started to shake.

“There was a loud bang and then a long roar,” he told the Trail Times.

“I’m a light sleeper so I got up immediately, it scared the crap out of me, and ran outside just in time to pull my truck ahead. It just missed my truck and it was still flowing across Casino Road (Riverside Ave.).”

The slide happened on a vacant city-owned property adjacent to Guesford’s home, where he has lived for five years.

However, the debris destroyed part of his railing, rock wall and water pooled in front of his home.

Guesford described the early-morning noise from the slide.

“It was really loud. A prolonged roar. It sounded like a backhoe dragging a bucket along the pavement.

“It took a few minutes for it to move. It was slo-mo at first but then it released and it just went. It shook my house. I thought my house was coming down when I ran out.”

Now Guesford is awaiting findings from a geotechnical engineer expected to survey the damage later on Thursday.

“They have a geo-tech coming this (Thursday) afternoon to diagnose the bank and evaluate if it’s safe enough for me to live here.”

He said the city has advised him not to stay in the house for now.

The other cruel twist, said Guesford, is that insurance doesn’t cover landslides.

“The truth is if it’s not safe enough for me to live here, I still have to pay the mortgage,” he said. “I’m not worried about the property, I’m worried about my safety.”

He pointed to the abundance of Japanese knot-weed growing along the bank.

“I’ve complained many times about this. It’s growing up behind my house and towards my neighbours. It’s really invasive and it de-stabilizes banks.”

He added spring runoff also accumulates in the area.

“The city knows about it but they basically haven’t dealt with it.”

The City of Trail released a statement late Thursday morning regarding the slide on the 2200 block of Riverside Avenue.

“There is no impact to traffic along Riverside Avenue and there are no apparent risks to the structures in proximity to the slide; however, as a safety precaution, the resident adjacent to the slide area has been temporarily relocated while the Regional Emergency Response Coordinator makes an assessment.”

Chris McIssac, Trail’s director of Public Works, told the Trail Times the manager of Emergency Programs at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will be on site Thursday to assess the bank’s stability and any further action.

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