Sloughing of hillside near Rayleigh slow, could be impacted by thunderstorms

By Chad Klassen
May 4, 2017 - 10:47am Updated: May 4, 2017 - 6:21pm

KAMLOOPS — In the hills past Rayleigh, excavators dig up portions of the sloughed area, trying and stabilize the slope that is creeping closer to the Yellowhead Highway by the hour. 

"They don't believe there's an imminent concern about a major movement because it has been consistent over the past number of days that we've been monitoring," said Tammy Robertson, the city's information officer. "They can take some of the data we've been getting and translate it back to when they first noticed the crack in the hillside. It's been pretty consistent from what they can tell."

The contractor, Golder Associates, is finishing up laying pipe that'll be used to divert water away from the zone of instability. 

"It's a pretty small piping system that was installed and will be completed as of today. That will divert water around the area," said Robertson. "In addition to that, we have a hard pipe going in over the next 7 to 10 days."

The city says the movement is slow but consistent. However, with a severe thunderstorm risk in the area for the evening, the hill will be watched closely. 

"Absolutely, rain is in the forecast and we will be watching this very closely," said Robertson. "We are very happy to have the monitoring equipment in place now, so we can get very good data in terms of what's happening with the slope and whether the rain is impacting movement or not."

Lakshmi Clegg lives on Ramage Road and is one of nine residences evacuated. On Wednesday, residents received the good news their motel stays are being extended until May 23. 

"It's been a blessing and hectic at the same time, especially with two kids," she said. 

City staff and engineers are on-call but hoping the work that's been done is enough to keep the hill from coming down on the highway. 

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