Residents asked to evacuate after 'naturally' occurring slope failure
Up to 80 people in the 200 and 300 block of 11th Street East are being asked to evacuate their homes for the evening after a “naturally occurring slope failure” in a number of backyard properties that are adjacent to the river.
“There’s a lane behind the houses and we had a slope failure in between the properties and it affected power and gas,” said Saskatoon’s infrastructure services general manager Mike Gutek Thursday afternoon.
Gutek said the evacuation is voluntary but described the damage as quite significant.
“There’s basically a patio that has sunk four feet and we have one of our power poles right now sitting at a 40 degree angle,” he said.
City workers are still investigating the situation but the potential exists for the swell of dirt to impact the properties below, said Gutek.
He said the slope failure is currently localized and engineering consultants are using an inclinometer -- an instrument used to measures angles of slopes -- to assess the full scale of the damage.
Gutek compared the slope failure to what happened near the University Bridge in 2007 when the city closed the busy off-ramp after heavy rains caused the riverbank to collapse.
The slumped riverbank cost the city $2.6-million.
Currently, traffic in the 11th Street East and Melrose Avenue area is closed off. Gutek said both power and gas have been shut off.
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