WATCH: It’s a wonder she wasn’t killed or seriously hurt. A woman driving near Lantzville was swept over a 20-metre steep washed out road early Monday morning. Neighbours say they aren’t surprised as it turns out there has been an ongoing water issue on this stretch of road. As Kendall Hanson tells us, officials got together on Tuesday to try and formulate a fix.
On Tuesday, workers were at the site of Monday’s washout, on Rumming Road near Lantzville, determining the next steps in repairing the road.
Early Monday morning, a woman was driving her car when the road collapsed, dropping her into a hole 20 metres high.
“I was panicked. I wanted to get out,” said survivor Karena Donnelly in an interview with CHEK News yesterday.
“I didn’t know what position my car was in the hole and I didn’t know if I was going to go careening down the bank into the ocean.”
After being trapped for three hours, a search-and-rescue technician was able to pull her to safety.
Neighbours say the washout shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise to those responsible for the road.
“They knew there was an issue with water and over the last couple of days, with buckets of water coming down, I thought this is an area for a landslide,” said neighbour Judy Heifetz.
Crews have pumped out the water from the high side of the washed-out road and now the focus is cleaning up the material that went downslope.
“We are just using the excavators to punch a trail or a ramp down to the bottom of the hole where we can go down to the railway tracks below and start cleaning up some of the excess material that flooded out there yesterday,” said Emcon Services Oliver Watson.
Some trees have toppled and in some cases snapped from the force of what happened.
The car that plunged into the washout will be pulled out tomorrow.
Lantzville’s chief administrative officer declined an on-camera interview but confirmed the district had been working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure as far back as eight months ago to deal with the water pooling up on the high side of the road.
“We’ve been working quite well with Lantzville on the solution and it’s taken a bit of time cause it’s kind of a complex system,” said Mike Pearson with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
And the solution will take awhile. The ministry says likely four to six weeks but they’ll be monitoring water levels much more closely when the next storm comes along.