NEWS
12/18/2013 03:26 EST | Updated 02/17/2014 05:59 EST

Evacuation order extended at Johnsons Landing

Residents eager to get back into their homes say they are frustrated the evacuation order for Johnsons Landing has been extended, more than a year after a deadly landslide left the area highly unstable.

Four people died and five homes were destroyed when the slide roared down on the tiny West Kootenay community in July 2012.

Brian Carruthers, spokesman for the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), says there is an unstable area high above Johnsons Landing that is larger than the first landslide.

"Whether the entire mountain comes down or a portion of, there is considerable risk to life and property," he said.

"For that reason we do not feel it is reasonable for individuals to go back into that area."

Eight property owners locked out

The extended evacuation order means eight property owners aren't legally allowed on their own land.

Harvey Armstrong, who has a home and studio in the evacuation zone, calls the extension outrageous.   

"The RDCK is not my daddy or mommy," said Armstrong. "I don't think they can regulate my actions for the rest of my life."

Armstrong said it has been especially frustrating for owners because they are still paying taxes on property they can't legally visit.

Representatives with the RDCK say they will meet with homeowners and the province in the new year to review the situation.