The municipality issued a press release Monday updating its monitoring of the Fitzsimmons Creek land slide and called on the provincial government to take a larger role in preventing a disaster.
The press release came after the Vancouver Province newspaper ran a front-page story Monday suggesting Whistler was in imminent danger of being flooded. The Province story was based on Squamish engineer Frank Baumann’s calls for Whistler to do more to prepare for the area’s total collapse and subsequent flooding of the village.
Monday’s release said the municipality has been monitoring the slide area since 1991, when torrential rains brought down part of the area and caused flooding down the Fitzsimmons Creek channel.
The monitoring program has been intended to provide warning of significant changes in flow conditions of Fitzsimmons Creek.
The slide site is about 2.5 kilometres above Whistler Village. The municipality’s consultants estimate the volume of earth moving is between 650,000 and 1 million cubic metres.
Survey data indicates that since 1992 the slide has moved an average 100 mm per year. However, the movement has increased in the last year and a half, with 1,400 mm of movement between May 1996 and June 1997, and 600 mm between June and August 1997. The slide is currently slowing down.
The slide is on Crown land, which the municipality says was clearcut. The logging may have exacerbated the problem, according to the municipality.
However, none of the provincial ministries have taken any action to deal with the slide.
The municipality intends to put up signs in the skiers’ parking lots warning of the possibility of flooding.