An early morning rockslide on Bear Mountain damaged two residential properties on Thursday, and the City of Langford says it’s up to the homeowners to investigate the cause.
Rowan Wilson rushed home from work on Thursday morning after his daughter heard a large crash outside their home on Longspur Drive.
“[She] called me to say the rock fell, which led to [me saying], ‘the what?'” said Wilson.
Around 5 a.m, his daughter, Mara Lambert-Wilson, learned that large chunks of the rockface in their backyard had fallen off, crashing into their backyard.
“I thought it was maybe a car hitting another car. I thought maybe the next door’s trailer had rolled out into the road and hit a car,” said Lambert-Wilson.
The chunks destroyed their fencing, a tool shed, garden and a retaining wall that the father had personally built himself. At the moment, he estimates the damage to be in the thousands. Next door, his neighbor’s gazebo, BBQ equipment, fencing and lawn were damaged.
“It sort of looked like a train derailment,” said Wilson.
Wilson says about 10 years ago, before he moved into the home, two chunks of the mountain collapsed, which has sat outside his fence since. Around the same time on Oct. 1, 2013, several boulders rolled down nearby on Spirit Ridge Drive as the Bear Mountain neighborhood was under development.
A BC Hydro box was damaged during that incident. A mason spoke to CHEK News at the time saying he believed rain was a factor.
Two housing developments, one above the cliff and one down the road from Wilson’s home, are currently taking place. A site monitor for the development adjacent to the property spoke to CHEK News saying that a blaster assessed the damaged and his initial thoughts were that tree roots were the cause of the collapse.
Developers for the housing project above the cliff could not be reached for comment.
In a statement to CHEK News, the City of Langford said that the homeowners are responsible for investigating the cause of the rockslide.
“The city can confirm that the rockface in question is fully within the limits of private properties. The city does not inspect nor maintain rockfaces/slopes on private property,” said Katelyn Balzer, director of engineering and public works.
“The affected private property owner(s) and/or tenant(s) may wish to investigate or obtain an evaluation of safety from a qualified professional geotechnical engineer with respect to their own property via their own means,” she added.
Wilson is grateful no one was injured and his next steps include contacting his insurance company to see if damages could be covered.
“At least I have a new hobby for the next few weeks,” he said.