TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO The site of the 2016 Beach Drive landslide.

Update on Port McNeill’s Beach Drive landslide

Port McNeill has a history of landslides, due to the steep embankment above Beach Drive.

Port McNeill council received a report from newly appointed Deputy Administrator Pete Nelson-Smith regarding slides and slide hazards along Beach Drive.

In the report, Nelson-Smith stated the town of Port McNeill “has been actively seeking solutions to the slides and slide hazards along Beach Drive, culminating in the McQuarrie Report and overburden pull back which is slated to begin soon. One of the McQuarrie Report mitigation solutions is to alleviate the amount of storm water that is running along the till.”

Nelson-Smith stated the public works department has “begun storm water catchment improvements by keeping drainage ditches clear and installing new culverts, however, to mitigate further risks to the community, we believe a full Town storm water assessment and storm water retrieval plan should be looked at to be able to deal with rain events such as the one experienced in 2016.”

Port McNeill has a history of landslides, due to the steep embankment above Beach Drive. Here are a few of the more significant landslides described in past reports:

• October 1981: several small slides were reported plus one larger slide that ran out beyond the road near 2238 Beach Drive;

• Oct. 8, 1992: five failures noted including one that ran out across the road between 2388 and 2400 Beach Drive;

• Feb. 11, 1999: a slide ran out across the road onto the property at 2146 Beach Drive;

• Nov. 16 2002: a slide ran out across the road and onto the property at 2168 Beach Drive. This slide is immediately east of the 1999 slide;

• April 8, 2003: a small slide occurred opposite 2226 Beach Drive, close to the October 1981 slide but did not reportedly cross the road;

• March 29, 2015: a slide occurred opposite 2298 Beach Drive, below a culvert outlet. The slide reached the road and moved some of the barriers, but was mostly contained;

• Feb. 5, 2016: a small slide is reported by the town, but no location given; and

• Nov. 9, 2016: a few small slides plus one larger slide that crossed the road and damaged the house at 2324 Beach Drive. This slide was very close to the March 2015 slide.

Nelson-Smith recommended council consider his report and “have staff prepare an application to receive funding through the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to have a storm water assessment and flood mitigation plan prepared for the Town of Port McNeill.”

Based on the total cost of the assessments for our town buildings, “it can be assumed that a minimum of $50,000 would be required to have an educated professional assess our community and prepare short term and long term solutions to any storm water issues,” wrote Nelson-Smith, adding “the UBCM grant we are looking at has a maximum input of 100 per cent up to $150,000.”

“One question I have is how much were you thinking of asking for?” asked Coun. Shelley Downey.

“Around $50,000…” said Nelson-Smith.

“So the money would be for a water hydrologist?” asked Coun. Graham MacDonald.

“That’s right,” answered Nelson-Smith.

“A water hydrologist is going to give us some good information on how to deal with that water coming down, which is what’s causing problems on Beach Drive,” replied MacDonald.

Coun. Jay Dixon then jumped into the conversation, stating council needs to “move forward with this application for a grant.”

Council approved Nelson-Smith’s request to apply for funding through the UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.

Just Posted

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Should aquaculture programs be offered at North Island College in Port Hardy?

“I think it would be very timely to have an aquaculture program”

Island Health issues press release regarding Port Alice Health Centre service changes

Island Health will be hosting a community meeting in Port Alice Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. in the rec centre.

Vancouver Island Regional Library wants to team up with the Town of Port McNeill to build a new multi-use facility

“A new library for the town, as you know, will quickly become an exciting hub of literacy”

And the snowiest community on Vancouver Island is…

Black Press reporters break out their tape measures to determine winter warrior bragging rights

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Committee member Russell Murray talks Oscar Hickes memorial hockey tournament

Oscar Hickes is taking place in Port Alice at the Doug Bondue Arena March 28-31.

LETTER: Is BC Hydro’s Step Two rate discriminatory?

“This charge is strictly a penalty and has nothing to do with the cost of energy.”

North Island Bantam Eagles hammer Nanaimo Clippers, finish playoffs strong

The Eagles wasted no time coming out and firing on the Clippers in the Feb. 9 game.

North Island Peewee Eagles win back to back games, move on to semi-final showdown

The Eagles are back Feb. 17 in a semi-final matchup against the Peninsula Eagles in Port McNeill.

Sports talk with Tyson: North Island Gazette’s 2018-2019 Minor Hockey Awards

Gazette Editor Tyson Whitney has compiled awards for the North Island’s minor hockey season.

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Dog goes for a boat ride on Victoria Lake

The North Island Gazette wants your photographs, email them to editor@northislandgazette.com.

Most Read