A shifting hillside near Fort St. John B.C., seen here in a recent handout photo, has damaged a gravel pit and severed a road, prompting evacuation of two properties. (Gord Pardy/Contributed)

Earth still moving in Old Fort, B.C., but not above homes: geologists

Transportation Ministry crews are ready to start work on the Old Fort road

Crews from BC Hydro and the Transportation Ministry are being allowed into a cut-off neighbourhood in northeastern British Columbia to figure out how to restore service to 54 homes evacuated because of a slowly moving landslide.

The Peace River Regional District issued temporary access permits on Wednesday for Old Fort, which is along the banks of the Peace River and at the bottom of a sharp hill below Fort St. John.

Transportation Ministry crews are ready to start work on the Old Fort road, but an update from the district says they need more information before deciding whether to build a new road or repair the existing one.

READ MORE: Old Fort residents in holding pattern as landslide inches toward homes

A geotechnical team has found signs of movement within the almost cliff-like grade above the river, but no recent slipping in the hillside farther east, above most Old Fort homes.

The only access road has been out since Sept. 30 when the creeping landslide buckled the pavement and power was lost Oct. 5 when the slide shifted a transmission line to the community.

The entire subdivision was ordered evacuated two days later.

Residents are being allowed to return to Old Fort for a few hours this week to gather belongings and prepare their homes for winter, but there is no word when the evacuation order will be lifted. (MooseFM)

The Canadian Press

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