Langley BC, condo complex evacuated after retaining wall begins to buckle – BC | PKBNEWS

People living in a condo complex in Langley were forced out of their homes after a retaining wall next to the building began to collapse on Sunday.

The incident occurred just before noon in a building on the Michaud crescent.

It is the second time in a year that the wall – which is intended for a new building – has started to show signs of wear. Residents say they noticed the ground shifting over the past few months and once the snow was cleared they could see the full extent of the damage.

Joan Robinson lives on the first floor, just above the damage, and says she could hear ice cracking.

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“I thought someone was walking through my balcony. It was still icy, and it was creaking extremely loudly. It looked like an abominable snowman was walking on the ice,” she said, adding that she had finally checked the edge of his balcony to discover the damage.

She says neighbors first noticed the fence around their building had started bowing a month or two ago, but the cracking along the tree line started in early spring.

Residents of a Langley condo complex had to leave their homes after a retaining wall at a construction site began to crumble.

“Our resort caretaker went to the (construction) company several times and said the roots of the trees were coming up. I think for me, personally, it’s to hold them accountable,” he said. she said, adding that the company was asked about its work and its impacts on the surrounding region before it started.

“Questions were asked about the groundwater and whether it would be disturbed by construction and we were told emphatically no. (The company said) had gone through the proper procedures to figure things out and how they were going to build this building…And it’s been concerning since the garden caved in April 2020.”

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She says the damaged area has grown since Sunday and Monday morning’s wind has made her fear the trees will be felled.

“I’m very worried, not just for myself, but for everyone in the building.”

The building’s power and utilities were cut, impacting approximately 39 BC Hydro customers.

BC Hydro says it contacted customers to let them know they would be without power overnight. It looks like they may have to spend a second night without power.

“It is not safe at this stage for our crews to enter and begin repair work on the underground conduit bank which has been damaged. The area is still subject to further erosion,” BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott wrote in a statement.

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“We understand that the developer is in the process of securing a temporary generator that could be brought to the site to provide electricity to condo residents.”

It’s unclear when the generator might arrive or when BC Hydro might be given the go-ahead to begin repairs.

Residents were given three nights in a hotel while the damage was assessed.

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