UPDATED:Johnsons Landing Search Continues Sunday
Following more uncertain weather and unstable ground conditions the search continued Sunday for four people missing after the massive landslide at Johnsons Landing on Kootenay Lake.
The RDCK says the slide area was determined to be stable enough for crews to move on to the site where two destroyed homes are still the focus of this painstaking on-off search. Heavy equipment was expected to be deployed in an attempt to get to the lower level of the properties where the missing people are believed to be.
Thunderstorms and rain were a hindrance in the early afternoon for the operation which involves 70 personnel.
It has now been more than three days since the slide ripped a huge gash in the mountainside at Gar Creek and sent a torrent of mud, rocks and trees on to this tiny remote community. With the road washed away access is only possible by helicopter and boat.
Officials refuse to give up hope that a man, his two daughters and a neighbour - Valentine, Diana and Rachel Webber and Petra Frehse- may still be alive, especially if they are in some sort of safe pocket such as the cellar area.
At a media briefing Sunday officials confirmed teams are conducting a grid style search at the "highest probability sites based on mapping, GPS and best information from the community." The remnants of properties that can be seen semi-submerged in the debris have in most cases been torn apart form their foundations and crews are focusing their efforts on the basement level of these homes.
The slide area has been mapped at 2000 metres long, 100-200 metres wide and 3-5 metres deep at least in some areas.
Ministry of Lands and Forests has confirmed they received an e-mail about strange ground movement on the mountainside the morning of the disaster. However that e-mail was opened about 30 minutes after the devastating event.
Argenta and Bulmer creeks were flown by a geo-technical team Saturday following concerns expressed by residents. The RDCK says both are running clear with minimal debris build up observed in Bulmer Creek.