Fort William First Nation assessing flood damage

Flooded homes and washed out roads prompted Fort William First Nation to declare a state of emergency.

About 30 families relocated so far from Fort William First Nation near Thunder Bay

Fort William First Nation declared a state of emergency on Monday due to flooding. Chief Georjann Morriseau said about 30 families were relocated Monday night. (Jolene Banning/CBC)

The chief of Fort William First Nation says an emergency response team is still assessing the extent of flood damage in the community.

On Monday, Chief Georjann Morriseau declared a state of emergency, saying that the residents of 40 to 60 homes were at risk.

"Many of our roads have been washed out," she said.

"Some of our homes are flooded almost up into their main level. So [there’s] a lot of flooding and a lot of damage to infrastructure and whatnot."

Morriseau said the First Nation was asking all residents to reduce water use as much as possible until they can check their lagoon and water system.

"We have closed down all businesses on Fort William First Nation just to limit the amount of water use," she added.

Morriseau said about 30 families from the Squaw Bay area of the community were relocated last night. Many people went to the Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay, she said.

Heavy rain and flooding washed out roads at Fort William First Nation over the long weekend. (Jolene Banning/CBC)

Their homes were either in danger of flooding, or they would have been isolated because of road closures around them.

"I think everybody's a little bit worried," Morriseau said. "Especially those who have flooded homes … we want them to know that we're doing what we can right now to make sure that we are accommodating them and putting them up in their hotels and making sure that they have access to all services and needs."

She said about 170 people have been affected in total.    

Morriseau said Fort William First Nation was working with Emergency Management Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the federal Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs to deal with the crisis. Thunder Bay mayor Keith Hobbs has also offered the city's help.