A terrifying early morning rockslide on Bear Mountain caused extensive damage to two homes in Langford, leaving homeowners to grapple with the aftermath and seek answers about the cause. The incident, which occurred on Thursday, shook the residents and left them in disbelief.
Rowan Wilson, whose daughter was the first to witness the devastating event, rushed home from work upon receiving the distressed call. Large chunks of the rockface in their backyard had come crashing down, demolishing their fencing, tool shed, garden, and a retaining wall that Wilson had personally constructed. The damages are estimated to be in the thousands. The neighboring property also suffered significant destruction, including a damaged gazebo, BBQ equipment, fencing, and lawn.
The incident is not an isolated one in the area. About a decade ago, prior to Wilson’s occupancy, similar rockfalls occurred, leaving large chunks of the mountain scattered near his property. In 2013, boulders rolled down Spirit Ridge Drive near the Bear Mountain neighborhood, causing damage, including a damaged BC Hydro box. During that time, a mason attributed the incidents to rain.
Currently, there are two ongoing housing developments, one located above the cliff and another down the road from Wilson’s home. While a site monitor for the adjacent development suggests that tree roots might be the cause of the collapse, the developers responsible for the housing project above the cliff were unavailable for comment.
The City of Langford, through Katelyn Balzer, director of engineering and public works, released a statement clarifying their stance on the matter. As the rockface falls within the boundaries of private properties, the city does not inspect or maintain such slopes. Balzer recommended that affected homeowners seek professional evaluation from qualified geotechnical engineers to ensure safety and investigate the cause of the rockslide.
In the face of this unexpected disaster, Wilson expresses gratitude that no injuries occurred. His next steps include contacting his insurance company to determine if the damages can be covered. Despite the challenges ahead, Wilson maintains a positive outlook, stating that he now has a new hobby for the coming weeks.
1. Are rockslides common in the Langford area?
Rockslides can occur in any mountainous region, including Langford. While there have been previous incidents in the area, their frequency is not high enough to be considered common.
2. Who is responsible for investigating the cause of the rockslide?
According to the City of Langford, homeowners are responsible for investigating the cause of the rockslide on their properties. The city does not intervene or maintain private rockfaces.
3. Can insurance cover the damages caused by a rockslide?
Insurance coverage for damages caused by a rockslide varies depending on the policy and its terms. It is recommended that affected homeowners contact their insurance providers to determine coverage.
4. How should homeowners ensure their safety in similar situations?
In cases of rockslides or other geological hazards, it is advisable for homeowners to consult qualified professionals, such as geotechnical engineers, to assess the safety of their properties and provide guidance on mitigation measures.