Northern Ont. road washouts shock mayor
Johnson Township mayor says area will need provincial money to help repair infrastructure
The cleanup continues in areas around Sault Ste Marie after torrential rains swept through the region early Tuesday.
Highway 17 remains closed between Iron Bridge and Thessalon, but traffic is getting around the washed-out area east of Thessalon by using Highways 129, 554 and 546.
Many secondary roads in the area also remain closed.
At the Johnson Township office in Desbarats, Mayor Ted Hicks goes through photos of washed out roads and flooded fields.
Hicks said he's never seen the road network in the rural area in such bad shape.
"Occasionally you see washouts," he said. "I've lived my entire life in this community and I don't think I ever remember this extent to the road damage."
Emergency Management Ontario reports Johnson Township, Macdonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional (Echo Bay) Township, Municipality of Huron Shores and Plummer Additional Township have declared a state of emergency due to the excess rainfall.
The storm is also being blamed for one death. Christopher Flood, 57, was killed Tuesday morning while riding his motorcycle near Thessalon. Police report he drove into a section of road that was washed away.
Hicks said he and Flood went to the same high school.
"We all pretty much know each other along the north channel," he said. "It hits home when somebody loses their life."
Emergency officials say it could take several days to deal with all the washouts and sinkholes the storm left behind in communities around Sault Ste Marie.
Hicks noted he will be looking to the province for help with some of the repair bills.