B.C. couple survives wildfire but home now threatened by mudslide

Princeton couple’s home 40 feet from mudslide that took out three out-buildings

The mudslide ripped the mountain open down to bedrock, creating a waterfall and leaving a wide debris field.

Leslie Rowlett and her partner Glenn Pennington moved to the Princeton area in 2015.

Relocating from North Vancouver, she said they came to “enjoy the peace and quiet.”

Last summer the couple was evacuated from their home along Highway 5A for 15 days while a wildfire burned around their property.

RELATED: Still no answers in cause of Princeton wildfire

Then last Tuesday – and possibly as a result of the efforts of fire crews to break that out-of-control blaze – approximately one kilometre of debris crashed down the mountain, destroying three of their outbuildings and creating a waterfall in their backyard.

Now along with other residents living below Allison Creek, the pair is watching water levels anxiously and preparing as best they can for potential flooding.

“It’s been a little stressful,” said Rowlett. “But I love it here. If you want to live in Mother Nature you have got to deal with these things.”

The mudslide that ended just 40 feet from the couple’s home occurred about 9:30 p.m.

Rowlett heard rumbling and thought perhaps a large truck was starting up in the area.

“Trees and rocks and crap came right down the hillside.”

RELATED: Work continues to deal with flooding

A pump house used for irrigation, an elaborate garden shed and an outhouse were decimated.

Had Rowlett been near any of those buildings “I’d be dead. Oh yeah, I would have been. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened.”

She said it appears the slide started in the area where fire crews had built roads and created breaks in an effort to contain the 2017 wildfire.

“With all the stuff they were doing behind us, it undermined a lot of the ground.” The property is insured, but there is no estimate yet on the cost of replacing the buildings or the landscape.

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Three outbuildings were completely destroyed by what Rowlett referred to as “carnage.”

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