Home » Evacuation alert in Princeton, B.C. still in effect; disrupts school bus travel – Okanagan

Evacuation alert in Princeton, B.C. still in effect; disrupts school bus travel – Okanagan

An evacuation alert in the Town of Princeton, issued on Wednesday because of slope instability will remain in effect for the time being.

On Thursday afternoon, the Southern Interior community updated the evacuation alert, which is in effect for a road near the Tulameen River.

The evacuation alert is for two properties on Jacobson Road, though the town originally issued a road closure on Wednesday afternoon following a bank stability assessment.

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Town of Princeton, B.C. issues evacuation alert due to slope instability

At first, part of Old Hedley Road, near the Brown Bridge, was closed, though that quickly changed to an evacuation alert for all of Jacobson Road plus a property on Tulameen Avenue near the bridge.

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But on Thursday, the town rescinded part of that evacuation alert, releasing eight lots from the alert, and said it only now applies to 156 Jacobson Rd., and 176 Jacobson Rd.

The town’s mayor, Spencer Coyne, spoke to Global News about the evacuation alert.

“The hillside above (Old Hedley Road) has started to slough and, because of that, it became unsafe to have crews working under there and traffic and school kids walking,” said Coyne.

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A Geotech team was to inspect the bank, with Coyne saying the town would relay that information when it gets it.

“But until then, we don’t want to risk anybody’s safety,” said Coyne. “So we’ve gotten an evacuation alert on the houses above. And then the road is closed as well.”

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Along with Old Hedley Road being closed, the Brown Bridge is also closed to traffic. And with both being shut down, that’s impacting some school students whose bus routes are affected by the closures.

On its website, School District 58 said “as a result, unless the road re-opens, busing will not be available to students attending John Allison Elementary school for the remainder of the week.”

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SD58 also said busing will not be available for students attending The Bridge, Vermilion Forks and Princeton Secondary.

“We are sorry for the disruption and ask that families make arrangements to transport students to and from school,” said the school district. “If you are unable to arrange transportation, please contact the school and speak with the principal to discuss a possible solution.”

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Coyne said the bridge itself is safe right now, but he’s asking parents that if their students walk to school, please drive them or make sure they take the 5A route.

“I know it’s an inconvenience,” he said, “but it’s for everybody’s safety.”

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