The Newfoundland and Labrador government has hired more expertise from western Canada to determine why the Churchill River flooded homes along its banks in May.

The KGS Group of consultants, a Winnipeg-based company that specializes in hydroelectric and water resources, will meet with residents of Mud Lake later this month. A final report is expected by early September.

Mud Lake evacuation JTF helicopter

A rescue helicopter was used in the evacuation of Mud Lake on May 17. (Twitter/@JTFA_FOIA)

According to Municipal Affairs and Environment Minister Eddie Joyce, the firm was hired on the advice of an independent expert from the University of Saskatchewan, Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt, contracted earlier in the summer to review the flooding.

About 80 people live in Mud Lake, near Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Most had to scramble to get out of their homes safely when the river rose quickly May 17.

Mud Lake flooding aerial photo

An aerial photo shows flooding in one area of Mud Lake near Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Donald Edmunds)

Of the people whose homes were damaged, about 30 have signed on to a proposed class-action lawsuit, claiming the Muskrat Falls hydro project and its developer, Nalcor, are to blame for what happened.

The terms of reference for the consultants' review ask that KGS provide an explanation of why flooding occurred, what measures are needed to prevent future flooding and how residents can get advance warning if there is a problem.

Mud Lake damage

About 30 per cent of the families who lost property in the flooding have signed on to a lawsuit, according to John Chaisson. (CBC)

As well, traditional knowledge of residents are to be taken into account in drawing conclusions.

The work is expected to cost $95,000 plus HST.