Living on the edge: Williams Lake business owner impacted by recent river valley landslide

Wyatt Bednarz of BJ Trucking is thankful to the many local businesses who have reached out to offer space for his trucks and equipment after a landslide on Saturday, Oct. 31 prompted an evacuation and concerns of further slippage. (Angie Mindus photo)Wyatt Bednarz of BJ Trucking is thankful to the many local businesses who have reached out to offer space for his trucks and equipment after a landslide on Saturday, Oct. 31 prompted an evacuation and concerns of further slippage. (Angie Mindus photo)
A view of the slide behind Wyatt Bednarz’s Frizzi Road property. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)A view of the slide behind Wyatt Bednarz’s Frizzi Road property. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A business owner in Williams Lake lost about two acres of property when the equivalent of 75,000 truckloads of debris slid into the river valley Saturday, Oct. 31 from his property line.

Wyatt Bednarz owns B&J Trucking and Brandy Enterprises and three of his four Frizzi Road properties are under evacuation order. Frizzi Road is now only about 20 feet from the slide area.

Bednarz has owned the properties for 29 years and said he was at his shop when the slide occurred Saturday.

One of his truckers working below with Peterson Contracting Ltd, where crews have been remediating flood damage since April when the Williams Lake Creek reached 200-year levels, saw the slide happen and called Bednarz.

Read more: Williams Lake landslide ‘severely’ impacts three Frizzi Road properties

Now Bednarz is scrambling to haul trucks and equipment away from the edge of the escarpment and has been offered temporary storage at the former Jackpine Forest Products Ltd. site on Mackenzie Avenue and on Fox Mountain.

He was under evacuation order in April during the flooding and had just had the order lifted in mid-September. With that closed access Bednarz said he lost about $120,000 in revenue during that time period. His business employs about 20 people.

During the regular council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 3, the City’s director of planning and development Hasib Nadvi told council two provincial geotechs arrived on Sunday and more were expected to tour the river valley Wednesday and Thursday.

“The province will do 3-D mapping of the entire river valley which we will compare to the images we took in May and June,” Nadvi said.

The level of the Williams Lake Creek is not as high as it was in the spring, but is still high and has yet to peak.

The San Jose River, Borland Creek and Knife Creek are higher than normal too, he added.

“We are historically high with groundwater saturation,” Nadiv said.

On Thursday, Nov. 6 another portion of the escarpment gave way taking two trees and an eight-by-eight foot storage container down below.

Mayor Walt Cobb said the City will be meeting with impacted Frizzi Road property owners at a special committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to go over information received from geotechnical engineers who were in the Williams Lake.

Bednarz, meanwhile, continues to haul equipment away from the site, but said he has not been able to access the area close to the slide yet.

Read more: Waterlogged: Williams Lake downright soggy after days of rain

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

floodingWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

The board of directors of Glen Arbor are applying for funding to build an addition of 21 units. (Monica Lamb-Yorski file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake city council endorses 21-unit expansion of Glen Arbor

The board of directors requested a letter of support for a funding application

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

(Photo submitted)
MISSING: Alexis Creek RCMP request help in finding Randolph Quilt, 59

Quilt hasn’t been heard from by family since Sept. 26, last seen in Williams Lake

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Most Read