Five homes were evacuated near Harrison Lake over concerns about the stability of Bear Mountain after a giant boulder slid down into a residential community last month. Nina Grossman/The Observer

Five homes were evacuated near Harrison Lake over concerns about the stability of Bear Mountain after a giant boulder slid down into a residential community last month. Nina Grossman/The Observer

UPDATE: Evacuations still in place for homes along Rockwell Drive

District of Kent mayor says no one was injured but slope stability remains a concern

The evacuation order for several homes along Rockwell Drive is still in place. The homes were evacuated in early December, a month after a 50,000-pound boulder came down in the residential area of Rockwell Drive.

Distict of Kent mayor John Van Laerhoven says a local state of emergency was declared as a precautionary measure for those residents living on a select number of properties on the east side of Rockwell Drive, north of Thunderbird Creek.

He says local municipalities are waiting for geotechnical assessments to be complete before they make any changes to the order. Evaluations will be done on a week to week basis.

“The rock that’s sitting there isn’t going to hurt anybody. It’s not going to move,” Van Laerhoven said. “We’re just concerned about the slope behind those properties.

“Life safety is paramount for our citizens living in this area and the evacuation order is an extra precautionary step to address a potentially serious situation with the freezing weather in the higher elevations.”

Van Laerhoven said it wasn’t yet clear how long the evacuation would last but that no one was injured and the only property damage was to a garden shed of a property on Rockwell Drive.

Kent Harrison emergency program co-ordinator Gerald Basten said district staff are conducting a preliminary assessment and will be working with the province to have geotechnical assessments done on the rock bluffs at Rockwell Drive.

“Once the professional engineers go in and have a look, we’ll know a lot more,” he said.

The public is asked to limit travels to the area of Rockwell Drive if possible.