Evacuation order extended in Lower Rd. washout area

The state of local emergency, evacuation order and alert affecting an area of Roberts Creek has been extended to Feb. 23.

Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) chief administrative officer Dean McKinley said paperwork was expected to be submitted for the extension on Feb. 12. The SCRD issued the state of emergency on Feb. 2 and it was extended for the first time last Friday.

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The evacuation order affects 1815 Lower Road and 2016, 2022 and 2028 Ocean Beach Esplanade, and the alert was issued for 1994, 1998 and 2044 Ocean Beach Esplanade, 1843 and 1847 Lower Road and Lot 6, Plan VAP6446, District Lot 2497.

All residents affected by the order have left the premises, according to McKinley.

The 1800 block of Lower Road remains closed and traffic, including buses, is being detoured through Joe Road.

The state of local emergency was called two weeks ago following a period of intense rainfall that washed out a section of Lower Road on the 1800 block, exposing gas lines and a water main, and breaking off a culvert, which washed down a rushing creek.

Safety risk from debris caused by flooding prompted the evacuation order and alert for the 10 properties along Ocean Beach Esplanade and Lower Road.

Efforts to assess and remediate the damage are ongoing, McKinley said.

By Feb. 12, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) was continuing to work on the section of Lower Road affected by the washout. Plans are now in the works to replace the entire damaged culvert. Originally, MOTI planned to repair the damaged section of culvert to avoid digging up the entire width of road. There is no completion date for the replacement. Fortis continues to reroute its gas lines that were under the road and the SCRD has placed shut-off valves on the water line on either side of the road repair area.

As for the evacuation area, where flowing water inundated properties, damage assessment is still underway. Drone flights began Tuesday to better view the creek, which will assist with geophysical and geotechnical assessments and decisions on next steps, said McKinley.

An excavator was used to dig a trench on the beach below Lower Road to divert water and prevent further flooding of homes.

Valerie Durant, owner of 2028 Ocean Beach Esplanade, described the damage to the beach and two properties on either side of the overflowing channel as “carnage, to put it mildly.”

– With files from John Gleeson


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