James Bay coast flooding forces more evacuations

Hundreds of people on the James Bay Coast are out of their homes.

Numerous First Nations communities affected by overflowing rivers, failing sewage systems

Evacuees continue to stream out of northern Ontario communities as flooding continues to overwhelm several communities along the James Bay Coast. (CBC)

Hundreds of people on the James Bay Coast are out of their homes.

The spring breakup has prompted concerns about flooding from the large rivers that run through the far north.

The Albany River is causing the most concern at this point and an evacuation is underway to move 800 elderly, pregnant or young people out of the community of Kashechewan.

Flights — headed to Thunder Bay and Cornwall for emergency shelter — started Saturday and will continue today.

Plans are also being drawn up to remove the remaining 750 people in the community, should the river rise any higher.

That's on top of the 200 people who have already left Kashechewan for Kapuskasing because a sewer backup flooded basements.

Local leaders are monitoring the water levels and ice dams on the Moose River. Contingency plans are in place, although no emergency has been declared. Patients at the local hospital are being evacuated due to water encroaching on the facility. (Supplied)

Moose River ice jam

Another spot of concern is an ice jam on the Moose River, near Moosonee and Moose Factory.

Nearly 200 vulnerable residents were moved out of Moosonee on the weekend and transported to Sudbury and Temiskaming.

Hospital patients have also been moved out in Moose Factory, but no wider evacuation has been requested.

Emergency officials there continue to watch the river and contingency plans are in place in case the water rises.

Sewer back-ups

Problems with sewer backups also persist as the snow melts.

Damage assessments continue in Attawapiskat, where basements were flooded last week.

Likewise in Constance Lake First Nation, near Hearst, a state of emergency has been declared because the sewer system failed. No evacuation has been requested in that community, however.

Flood warnings

The Ministry of Natural Resources has also issued flood warnings for the Montreal River Watershed and the Ivanhoe River watershed, which affect the Temiskaming and Chapleau regions.

The city of Timmins also said the water level on the Mattagami river dropped slightly over the weekend, but several roads remain closed in that community because of high water.