Part III, Old Fort Slide: As evacuation alerts/orders continue,more questions for Site C geotechnical concerns

As we head into another weekend, the Old Fort Slide continues to move and create new & worrisome cracks. It has now entered the river channel, and an evacuation order was issued to include the islands in the river downstream of Site C.

The main slide has already impacted one of the islands and recent changes and new information regarding the west slide indicates potential for increased mobilization and depth of failure,” reports Rhonda Mellafont, an engineering geologist with Westek.

The Peace River Regional District has issued a video warning –  because of these new developments, pursuant to the Emergency Act as of today, 6am October 12th, anyone found entering the evacuation order zones may face imprisonment or fines. NO ENTRY WILL BE TOLERATED. The public safety risk is severe. The growing tension cracks and displacement clearly show significant instability and it is a deep-seated failure that is unpredictable.

https://prrd.bc.ca/old-fort-landslide-video-message-6/

The PRRD has posted some incredibly startling photographs taken between the initial slide and October 10th, which can be viewed at this PDF file here : Old-Fort-Slide-Pictures-Sept-30-to-Oct-10-2018

slidepicisland

With the slide still on the move,what additional risk may develop for:

A) the communities downstream,  and

B) Site C construction upstream,is unknown.

If the entire river becomes blocked either in a slow continuous fashion as is occurring now, or a sudden fast-moving slide event occurs, this could have serious consequences for both.  ( FYI, the westernmost end of the back channel was supposed to be enhanced fish habitat as per project docs )

In addition, how much of the Old Fort Channel work here: 13-NB-7BCHydroPresentation was completed yet, if any? This would significantly impact this as well:

 

It highlights again the stark reality (insanity??) of building a dam in this kind of geologically unstable area, yet Andrew Watson – lead design of Site C – showed no concern in a radio segment on CBC yesterday:  https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1342405699546

Myself ? I’m still with Vern Ruskin in a call for an independent, outside safety review, and this is why.

  1. Government has a history of lying about serious matters ( shocking, right??🙄) : After I broke the story and reported on visible movement and unseen issues  on Sea to Sky retaining walls over a period of a year in which government repeatedly denied and tried to discredit these reports – it was revealed that major repairs were underway on two because the contractor, Kiewit, used substandard materials. No, Todd Stone never did apologize for lying.   Since reporting on Site C, this pattern of denials of my reports by BC Hydro, has been the same. So when a hydro rep plays the Lego theme song “Everything is Awesome”, it immediately prompts an eyeroll. I’m not saying they are lying right now…I’m saying I don’t believe much of anything they say, and defer to my engineering friends instead.
  2. The infamous North Bank has been problematic from Day 1, for the very same geotechnical characteristics that the Old Fort Slide is displaying. In fact, as Watson said during his CBC clip, they have removed nearly the entire north slope ( the same side of the river and just upstream of the Old Fort slide) to attempt to mitigate that same slide risk there. They removed so much earth the work camp is literally on the edge now, and it even impacted the dam design as I detailed here.  Yet even after removing such a massive amount, there are still  unknowns Watson  failed to mention on air…which are still significant concerns that I will share below.

Here are some photos taken within the last week and a half, of the diversion portals below the North Bank, and of the North Bank itself.

The first photo is of the upper bank and camp….now right on the edge.

Second is the outlet portal.

In the last two photo’s you can see orange streaks on the concrete shot coated terraces where iron rich water from the gravel seam inside, has leaked out and stained the concrete.

northface1northface2northface3northface4

There remain significant unknowns with these tunnels under the north bank, ones that the Old Fort slide brings to the forefront. This should not be ignored.

From pages 104, 105 of the BCUC report here: 00699_A-8_Site-C-Inquiry_Deloitte-LLP-Independent-Report-No1-1

bcucgeotechconcerns1bcucgeotechconcerns2

In the most recent Site C progress report ( Fiscal year 2019 report, page 9: https://www.sitecproject.com/news-and-information/progress-reports-to-the-bcuc ) , an issue was in fact, identified above Diversion Tunnel 2:

“On June 29, 2018, a small rock movement occurred on a localized area of bench -9, above and to the west of the diversion tunnel inlet portal number 2. A remediation plan is in place and work is well underway to resolve this issue. There were no workers in the area at the time of the incident. This small slope movement is not related to the tension cracks that occurred on the north bank in 2017. This current issue is related to a localized shear zone in bedrock material while the tension cracks were related to the overburden materials and slope conditions. Excavation of the inlet portal near tunnel number 1 is continuing, while remediation work proceeds above tunnel number 2. “

This is where I refer back to my featured image at the top of the post, taken from the PRRD photographs, clearly demonstrating what can happen at a shear zone as mentioned in the Site C excerpt report above:

featureimage

A shear zone, is kind of like a fault in the earth, a line where the rocks or material on one side is under more tension or different tension than the other. As you see above, one side is static, or moving less than the other side which is moving quickly. So clearly these kind of issues do occur on the Site C project by their own reports and they are doing remediation. In some of the 2009 stage 2 engineering reports, the drill holes used don’t go down as far as the diversion tunnel depths and they had trouble drilling past the gravel that is at about 1550-1600 asl.

Watson also mentioned in his CBC segment that there are two other dams on the Peace that are just fine. What he left out is 1) both the WAC and Peace Canyon dams  are of vastly different designs than the redesign of Site , and 2)  that the areas they were built in, which still geologically similar, are more stable than the eastern portion of the valley where Site C is being placed.

These ongoing geotechnical issues are where the unknown risks and costs associated with resolving those risks remain…

In August, BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway told local media that the Crown corporation has not been searching for stronger bedrock at the dam site, where it has removed 11 million cubic metres of earth in an effort to resolve geotechnical issues that have added to the project’s escalating cost.

“We know what rock is here,” Conway said.

“The dam is going to rest on shales, and the powerhouse and spillway structures are going to be anchored into shale materials as well.”

Ruskin said it’s not uncommon to build dams on shale, even though it is weaker than other types of bedrock. But what concerns him is the combination of shale and the new L-shaped design structure that includes construction of a roller compacted concrete buttress that will serve as the foundation for the generating station and spillways.

“That has never been done before,” he said. “They are pioneering.”

Btw Watson, there is a slumped area just above the angled drop in the RCC conveyer you may want to keep an eye on…locals have noticed this recently.

I’ll have more updates in the comments as usual, and if you are just joining in, you can read

Part 1, here: https://lailayuile.com/2018/10/01/if-the-land-falls-down-around-site-c-does-anyone-in-victoria-hear/

and..

Part II, here: https://lailayuile.com/2018/10/09/part-ii-if-the-land-falls-down-around-site-c-does-anyone-in-victoria-hear/

sitecarea

35 thoughts on “Part III, Old Fort Slide: As evacuation alerts/orders continue,more questions for Site C geotechnical concerns

  1. Laila Yuile

    Thats why these questions need to be asked and this info needs to be out there. First concern is the evacuees.
    Second is safety of site c & workers.

    The volume of these slides now more than equal the amount taken off the problematic North bank I’ve written about so much with photos…

    Seems mother nature is playing ‘you take mine, I take yours?’

    https://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/old-fort-landslide/old-fort-landslide-grows-to-8-million-cubic-metres-1.23462433

  2. “Andrew Watson, lead design of Site C, showed no concern in a radio segment on CBC yesterday”. Really? Really? In light of what is going on, and recent dam failures I’d think it would behoove a responsible Engineer to show a great deal of concern.

    I’ll bet the owner of that bungalow centre bottom of your last photo is showing a little concern, or else he has a dam good insurance policy!

    1. Laila Yuile

      Also I don’t believe landslides are insurable,so short term people are accessing emerg social services, long term is unknown. I can’t imagine how devastating this is.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Farnworth visited, I heard Weaver tweeted concern,nothing from Horgan yet I’m told.

      Yes, massive slide. I’ve been to the Hope slide site many times-if people haven’t seen it firsthand,its hard to imagine the scale of it.

      Which is why so much concern over shears identified on the north slope above the diversion tunnels….

    2. e.a.f.

      I remember the Hope slide, what it looked like before the slide, and what it looked like after the slide. If the slide at the dam is around that size, watch out. 3 people died in the Hope slide and their bodies are still under it all.

      As a kid it was just beyond my comprehension when I saw what had happened. To this day, I like to get through that area.

  3. kennylad

    Good afternoon Laila and everyone.
    I was downloading stuff from my brain and decided to search a bit of that stuff that was clogging my gray matter. I recollected something about these boards like those so called oversight boards like the NEB, the BCUC and so and so forth and how these boards end being stacked by governments of the day with appointees, and how decisions can be steered to a certain outcome. It’s always a hell of a thing. But about the BCUC.
    https.//the narwhal.ca/what you need know about b c utilities commision and site c dam/
    I’m not saying that the present BC government has anyone there that is in favour to their side. Yet. I haven’t checked that far. But the BC Liberals did by the looks of it. 8 out 9 were appointed by yep, Christy Clark. So maybe that’s why the BCUC reports seemed to me anyways, to be lacking and not as strong with answers, or not enough answers and to many questions on Site C, and i wonder if Horgan took advantage of that besides just going ahead with it anyways for his sneaky little LNG Plan that was already in the secret works tied in with Site C. All reviews and studies were just about the dam being just deception. Just thinking out loud.

  4. nonconfidencevote

    Wow!
    Those pics are amazing.
    I didnt realize the Work Camp was located so close to the embankment.
    One wonders how the clay, soil and shale will react when there is billions of tons of water soaking into the ground.
    I’ll be amazed if they even get this thing half filled before it fails……
    What a boondoggle.
    I cant believe Horgan signed on to this.
    There must have been a lot of union “pull” to get him onside.

    1. nonconfidencevote

      Unbelievable.
      What a god damn mess.
      And to think its cost billions to get it to this point “of no return”.
      I’m wondering when Christy will be working on the SNC Board of Directors….its only a matter of time…. she waited a year after losing the election to jump on the Shaw gravy train..

      Speaking of SNC

      One wonders if the province offered to hand everything over to SNC and said, ” We’re done. No more taxpayer money . Its yours, you build it on your own dime. You own it, we’re washing our hands of it. Anything goes wrong . You’re liable.and we will sue you.for damages”

      Think they’d accept?

  5. Good stuff Laila…..i’m so glad you are writing.

    We need writers and researchers to suss out the truth..

    I’m not quite sure what happened to Horgan and BC NDP…I feel like crap, a kick in the #%$^

    Secretive Horgan…heard the latest…Horgan is attempting to subvert of legislature and ram stuff through the backdoor

    https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/news/questions-remain-after-40-billion-lng-announcement-1.23461247

    Need more….Horgan and Trudeau’s $26 billion dollar lie…LNG Canada…My latest post confirms what I reported last week..LNG Canada project is not $40billion…it’s less than $14 billion with $11 billion being spent in China and S. Korea…..This information is not off Site C topic….Site C was built for LNG Canada…..Site C by a country mile is BC’s most expensive infrastructure project..it dwarfs LNG Canada with $dollars spent in Canada by $billions…

    We got a threefold loser white elephant boondoggle happening…..

    Site C..a bad project in wrong location..Site C being built for LNG Canada….BC residential ratepayers will get hammered on rates for decades to come…all for an LNG industry that won’t return 1/10th of the money to BC that it costs us…and as a bonus…any BC GHG reduction plan is an effort in futility with fraking/methane and LNG plant emissions….We lose it all..

    John Horgan who…..

    Glad to see you back Laila

    Cheers Eyes Wide Open

    1. Laila Yuile

      Thanks Grant. Not ‘back’ per se, but some things can’t be ignored. ( like why we aren’t having a corruption inquiry yet?
      My health is good right now & I want it to stay that way. I used to use almost the entire 24 hrs of a day to be able to commit time to bcpoli in addition to life,and it took toll. Now,I actually practice self care and sleep instead of work at night.😂

      Don’t be harsh on yourself. At least you have the ability to admit how you feel now. I see people who absolutely trashed Clark for lng and now say under Horgan it’s good because it’s done properly. Like wtf? That blind partisanship is insane.

  6. e.a.f.

    holy crap! you’d think this would be the biggest thing on the news right now.
    If the slide goes into the river, on the upside of things, no need for a dam, I do recall someone commenting some time ago along those lines, but really, it was a funny thought, but this time it looks like it could happen. What then. Do they pack up and go home or spend 20B to make a go of it. This could be the mother of all messes.

    I’m not a geologist but those pictures would make me want to abandon all thoughts of building anything around there.

    anchoring things into shale isn’t a good idea, its not solid enough, in my non engineering opinion.

    At this point it might be best if it just slide all the way down and out and they can abandon the dam dam. It costs too much. Its too dangerously designed. We can send the workers elsewhere and build things more necessary for the province.

    When the news this evening was waxing on about perhaps the future need for electricity for al the grow ops coming into homes, I couldn’t stop laughing. Back in the 1970s it was a grow lux lamp over the plants in the bedroom and it all worked fine. The dam is in the wrong spot. We have dams, put a few extra turbines on them. Did note the B.C. Hydro rep. say we had enough electricity to power all those new lights for weed. Perhaps whoever designed and thought up this dam was playing with our best agricultural product.

    Thank you for providing all this information, especially the pictures. They give me a much greater understanding of what is happening.

  7. nonconfidencevote

    I once heard a joke about engineers,
    “Tell an engineer something is impossible and they’ll try and prove you wrong. No matter what the cost”

    And since the BC taxpayer is blindly paying the bill……..LETS BUILD IT!

    I’m wonder how many politicans will be “too busy” for a photo op when that billion dollar boon doggle is completed?
    Billions over budget and endless structural problems in the future…..
    I need a fracking license right next to that site…..because fracking doesnt cause earthqukes….

    Not one political “leader” has the spine to do what’s right.
    Shame on them all.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Yep.

      There are two things that can stop this…

      An injunction in the decision expected soon.

      Mother Nature.

      Otherwise they will continue building as fast as they can to meet those lucrative performance bonus deadlines. The problematic bedrock mentioned in the appendix above will be injected with concrete slurry to fill all the cracks and for every issue they will find some ‘solution’ because that is what they have been paid to do.

      As my engineering friends say, just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.

      #ImWithVern

  8. kennylad

    I feel as though no matter who i vote for every four years, it seems to be in vain sometimes. The politicians or are getting worse i think. It’s like deceitfulness, outright lying and even corruption is like an accepted, normalized, and even instinctual way for many of them. The BC Liberal leadership set the new bar for sure for screwing the people over. I know it’s cynicism, but sometimes i think voting should be done by picking from a barrel, or better yet, like pin the tail on the donkey. Actually on the ass, because that would at least denote politician. I realize not everyone can be pleased, but man, they are getting worse. My little Saturday rant. And now, out to enjoy the beautiful day.

    1. Oh i don’t think they are getting worse, it’s just that we have independent media like Laila able to get the word out a bit. Spent a year reading newspapers from the 40s to the 70s, and…naah — they are no worse, just maybe more exposed.

  9. Evil Eye

    Thank you for this and this most recent post shows you have been correct all along.

    The NDP under Horgan will do nothing as they have drunk the jobs, jobs, jobs, kool-aide.

    This land slip is a potent of things to come, bad, very bad things to come.

  10. Tim.

    I had a hard time visualizing 8 million cubic meters. Just what does that look like?

    On October 01-18 the largest ever cruise ship entered Vancouver harbour. She had to come and go on low tide to fit under the Lions Gate Bridge, which is 200 feet above the water. She is 1,100 feet long and 136 feet wide. Her volume in meters is 833,000. That is slightly over one tenth the volume of the Old Fort slide.

    So, imagine 10 of these, slowly moving down a hillside. Your hillside: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Norwegian_Bliss.jpg#/media/File:Norwegian_Bliss.jpg

    The volume of BC Place stadium is 3.5 million cubic meters; less than half the size of the Old Fort Slide:

  11. E. Random

    In case you missed it…

    https://www.focusonvictoria.ca/focus-magazine-septoct-2018/a-false-dichotomy-r11/

    “As LNG Canada’s Final Investment Decision looms, a fatal error sits stubbornly at the heart of the government’s case for LNG.”

    “Internationally recognized LNG analysts? Anyone from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives? David Suzuki Foundation? Navius? Pembina Institute? Sierra Club? Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions? The document didn’t say. More likely a bunch of corporate carbon-heads who can’t see the future through the haze of thick forest fire smoke that now almost routinely covers large parts of the province every summer.”

    “It isn’t hard to imagine that the “joint financial analysis” went something like this:”

    “BC Government to LNG Industry: What do you want?”

    “LNG Industry: We’ll take no LNG export tax, a sales tax holiday, reduced carbon tax, and hydro at half what the hoi polloi pay!”

    “BC Government: Done! And thanks for the insightful analysis!”

    “What the March 22 government release called a “new framework for natural gas development [that] puts [the] focus on economic and climate targets,” BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver referred to as giving away BC’s Crown-owned natural gas. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the BC NDP will do anything the industry wants to get LNG here,” commented Weaver in an interview. “They have taken ‘sellout’ to a whole new level.”

    Who would dare even suggest such shoody work was allowed? Russ Francis, in FOCUS Magazine September\October issue. Page 29.

    Who is Mr Francis? An insider. “Formerly a political columnist and reporter, Russ recently returned to the fold after a stint as a BC government analyst. During his 10 years with the government, he worked in strategic policy, legislation,’ and performance management for a number of ministries.”

    Among other details not made available to the media or not reported by them…

    “To hear the NDP government tell it, the proposed LNG Canada facility at Kitimat will have as many as 10,000 construction jobs in 2021. (Though permanent jobs would be only “up to 950.”) And LNG Canada has agreed that local residents will have first dibs at that work, promised Deputy Minister Wright.”

    “But some of those 10,000 jobs may already be disappearing.”

    “David Seaton, the chairman and CEO of Texas-based Fluor Corporation, one of the two main contractors, has boasted to investors that his company has cut on-site jobs for the LNG Canada contract by more than one-third: “[W]orking with the client, we were able to leverage our supply chain and fabrication capabilities, allowing us to reduce needed on-site [labour] by over 35 percent, which is probably the largest risk on that project,” Seaton told an August 2 investors conference call, according to a company-edited transcript. Seaton added later that the LNG Canada contract was a “big win” for his company.”

  12. Mark Meiers

    Should site c be completed and the resivoir be filled only to fail catastropicly all parties involved- christy clark and her cohorts- john horgan and his cohorts all the engineering firms should be on notice that they will be held criminally liable for all deaths and destruction incurred – total accountability is on there heads – maybe this would make these crooked corrupt politicians and corporations wake up

    1. e.a.f.

      Mark, as we saw with Mount Polley’s dam collapse, nothing happens to those who own the dam, built the dam, or the politicians. Site C will come down, with one or two good shakes from an earthquake or perhaps without one, but regardless no one will go to jail over it or even be tried. Its the way the world works.

      The dam is not safe, it ought not to have been built, and Horgan feel for whatever cool aid they served and Green Weaver, wanting to remain as some sort of influence and improve his lot in life has gone along with it.

      In many of these cases you don’t even have to “pay off” politicians in this province. they’re that stupid. They do it for free. It doesn’t take much to sway a politician to your point of view. You wine and dine them a bit, tell them how smart they are, and when they come to the conclusion you want, you tell them it was all theirs and again how smart they are. My opinion, the real problem in the province is Meggs. We know what he did in the city of Vancouver and how well things turned out for Vision because of him. We know how unaffordable Vancouver is, all with Meggs at Robertson’s side.

      After 16 years of B.C. Lieberal rule people are very concerned about health care and schools and if you’ll notice that is what the province is giving them. More schools, more hospitals, and more health care. No one is looking a the rest and the MSM will not upset the apple cart. The NDP is working to house the homeless, so most people are happy and will ignore Site C because it doesn’t impact them in the here and now. they don’t really care about the families up north, they don’t know them. The media has been careful to never show any of the impacted people in a sympathetic light.

      We didn’t need Site C and we never will. But I do know this, you don’t have to pay off politiicans in this province to get them to do what you want. they’re that stupid. I could understand if millions were being exchanged under the table. Could get past that too, but to do it for free, OMG.

  13. E. Random

    Mark Meiers, e.a.f.

    Bad News. Surprised? The NDP, apparently has more to hide than it likes, and needs to ensure that NDP whistleblowers, um… can’t do what they do..

    Insiders (including non-NDP-aligned government clerks?) are to be gagged.

    https://theprovince.com/news/politics/rob-shaw-ndps-draft-gag-order-could-limit-public-dissent-on-party-positions/wcm/4f051671-6ea5-4dfc-b681-4d808a9504d2

    “New rules within the B.C. NDP could limit people’s ability to criticize the government and party policies.”

    “VICTORIA — B.C.’s governing New Democratic Party has crafted new rules that could prevent some members and officials from publicly criticizing the decisions of Premier John Horgan’s government.”

    “A draft of an internal NDP code of conduct, obtained by Postmedia News, shows it would require members of the party’s provincial executive and committees to sign non-disclosure agreements that forbid them from publicly disagreeing with party or government policies.”

    “Individuals agree that they shall, in all public statements (either written or verbal), promote the positions taken by the party through its duly constituted bodies and shall refrain from public criticisms of the party, its positions, or its elected officials,” reads the code of conduct. Any criticisms should be expressed only through internal channels, it reads.”

    “The document also says all matters dealt with in party meetings are confidential and not to be discussed publicly.”

    Integrity? Honesty? Openness? Transparency? Accountability? All such signs of trustworthiness must be thwarted by mandatory non-disclosure agreements that forbid government insiders from publicly disagreeing with party or government policies?

    Why this? Why now, not before?

    “Signed agreements could effectively act as gag orders for NDP members who disagree with the Horgan government’s decisions to approve the Site C dam, give tax breaks to the LNG Canada project and campaign in favour of proportional representation.”

    “NDP officials argue the intention is not to silence people from speaking their minds, but instead to formalize what has been an implied obligation in the NDP constitution that people who represent the party — especially on social media — do not criticize it or break with its positions in an official capacity.”

    The intention? Meaning, lie about what you know: that’s an order?.

    I thought this Party Line Is Sacred stuff died when the Soviet Union died. But clearly when big construction, tax breaks, proportional representation, and Hydro projects are involved dissent is not to be allowed. The threat from the opposition? What threat? As though the BC liberals would ever attack the NDP for doing exactly what it would have done, if elected.

    Looks pretty bad no? But surely ministries responsible for…

    Combating BC Gun Crime, LNG. Site C. Homelessness. Tanker Traffic, Prosecuting CasinoGate. TransMountain, The Affordable Housing Crisis. The Health Care crisis. The Fish Farm sell out, Three years of forest fire fiasco, Children at increased risk because they are in government Care. All these crisis points will be exempt from the Gag Order, right?

    Victoria: AKA: Moscow On The Inner Harbour?

    Please advise..

  14. kennylad

    Hi Laila. i Hope a lot more goodies are going be coming out about the disgusting push by Horgan and his ilk to push a nondisclosure agreement through. Whatever way it’s brushed up, it’s a written party law to be introduced to shut down and gag any public dissension by party officials. So any back talk or swaying from the party line on LNG, Site C etc. will be a no no. To pull this shameful shit is a telling thing that it mustn’t be to rosy internally. And Andrew Weaver. WTF is up with that fella. All bark, no bite. Woof,woof, and then back to sleep. The assault on democracy and accountability continues. Liberal, NDP, Green Party [Yellow party] leadership. Dirtbags all of them. Doesn’t matter. Sorry, had to get that out.

    1. Laila Yuile

      I’ve been on a whirlwind 48 hr no sleep kinda trip to Van and back and inboxes busting. I’ll catch up and write when I get some sleep otherwise every other word will be swearing!

      Yeah…this is pure white. Pure shite. I guess making up rumours, harassment, intimidation and ostracization isn’t enough so now it’s going to be in writing.. Any member or MLA who agrees to this is complicit to destruction of democratic process. Elected official work for us….NOT Horgan, or Glen Sanford, or Meggs or Keating.

      Wow. Just wow. https://vancouversun.com/news/politics/rob-shaw-ndps-draft-gag-order-could-limit-public-dissent-on-party-positions

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