A mudslide east of Enderby in B.C.’s North Okanagan was caused by a beaver dam bursting, officials say.
Power was taken out to about 700 residents in the B.C. interior community after the mudslide took out power lines and trees, leaving them without heat or communications.
North Okanagan District officer Jackie Pearase says it appears an ice jam over a beaver dam thawed in the warm weather and caused the slide, which completely covered Mabel Lake Road and decimated a vital salmon hatchery.
The beaver dam caused a flash flood in the Shuswap River taking out sections of Mabel Lake Road.
Residents were left stranded with the only way out by air or boat.
The slide washed out Mabel Lake Road and a bridge spanning the creek, isolating about 200 residents on the other side.
Leigh Pearson of Vernon Search and Rescue said a huge amount of debris came down the creek.
“There was a bridge there that is gone, completely gone like there is not even a trace of it left…It’s big. There’s a lot of people trapped on the wrong side of it, unfortunately, that can’t get back out.”
Photo credit: CBC