NEWS
09/21/2015 00:37 EDT | Updated 09/20/2016 01:12 EDT

Evacuation order for 5 Birken properties, flood warning issued in Sea-to-Sky corridor

An evacuation order has been issued for five properties near Birken B.C. due to a slow-moving landslide, while the BC River Forecast Centre is warning about high-running rivers in the Sea-to-Sky corridor.

The landslide near the town of Birken, north of Pemberton, began Sunday morning after several hours of rain.

It caused debris to flow across the main road in the community and may have caused damage to at least one property.

"We're talking rocks and rubble," said Ryan Wainwright with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. "The way landslides work in this area, they either come down all at once or they come down slowly over a number of hours, so this is a slow one."

Of the five properties impacted, three are seasonal.

Eight people have been forced to leave due to the evacuation order, which is near 9296 Portage Rd. 

Portage Road is also currently closed north of Gates Lake. Shelter has been set up for those impacted in Pemberton.

Swollen rivers

Meanwhile, the BC River Forecast Centre says in a release that water ways in the Sea-to-Sky corridor are swollen from heavy rain.

The flow rate for the Lillooet River near Pemberton is 1107 m3/s, which exceeds the 20-year return period flow.

Water levels increased Sunday afternoon between 15 and 16 cm/hr on both the Lillooet River and Squamish River near Brackendale.

The forecast centre says rainfall was expected to lessen Sunday night, but flows will remain high into Monday morning.

A flood warning means that river levels have or could spill over river banks, and that flooding of areas near the rivers could occur.