Spring flooding continues in northern Ontario
Several First Nations declare state of emergency
Rising waters and spring flooding are to blame for more evacuations in the James Bay community of Kashechewan.
There are plans to have approximately 150 residents move to Thunder Bay, with the remaining 350 at-risk individuals moving to Cornwall, starting Sunday morning, Ontario government spokesman Andrew Morrison told CBC News.
The first plane with evacuees arrived in Cornwall Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., according to City of Cornwall spokesman Bob Peters.
Last week 240 residents fled to Kapuskasing due to the melting snow-pack, which led to sewer backups in about 40 homes.
A state of emergency has been declared in several First Nations communities, including Constance Lake First Nation, where some basements have been flooded. Its leaders have not requested provincial assistance at this time, but Emergency Management Ontario continues to monitor the situation.
Among the other trouble spots:
- Fort Albany First Nation has experienced an equipment failure at the water treatment plant which has compromised water quality.
- Mattagami First Nation has declared an emergency as a result of road erosion by floodwaters, which has compromised the lone access road. Individuals who had to leave their homes last week have now returned to the community and repairs are being made to the road.
- Attawapiskat has experienced significant flooding in some basements due to ground water runoff. While the waters have subsided, significant cleanup and repair is required because about 140 residents have had their homes contaminated. Long-term care residents have been evacuated from the community, but no large-scale evacuation is planned.
- Pic Mobert First Nation has declared an emergency as a result of rising White Lake waters.
- The town of Moosonee and nearby island of Moose Factory saw about 100 residents airlifted to Sudbury on Friday and another 100 taken to Timiskaming on Saturday morning.
- Timmins prepares for flooding as water rises
In Timmins, several people were out on Saturday filling sand bags to hold back the rising waters of the Mattagami River.
Water levels are also high on Porcupine Lake and Kamiskotia Lake.