Environment Canada said Thursday’s heavy rains in Thunder Bay tallied up to more than 50 millimetres.

Meteorologist Geoff Coulson said clusters of heavier showers and thunderstorms were forming in central and southeastern Minnesota, but the whole region didn't get the heavy rains.

He said it was a relatively narrow swath of rain from Fort Frances eastward into Thunder Bay.

The swath had a lot of impact.

"In a good soaking shower we would expect to see accumulation somewhere around 10 millimetres or so," Coulson said, but yesterday’s deluge was "a shower or rain event that you know you've been involved in [as]... you've had to use the umbrella or the raincoat."

Road closures

Thursday's heavy rains also lead the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority to issue a flood outlook Friday morning — and with more rain forecast, they upgraded it to a flood watch.

"We're upgrading it to a watch to let people know there is the potential of flooding to exercise caution around watercourses especially the rest of the day and over the weekend," said authority chair Bill Bartley.

"So if we get this rain, they will probably be going over the banks."

The flood watch covers Thunder Bay and most outlying townships and municipalities. The rain has also created problems on some rural roads.

A spokesperson for the MTO said a part of a lane on Highway 588 — the road to Hymers — has been washed out. Drivers have been forced to use one lane of the roadway while the MTO does repairs.

Full or partial washouts have been reported at the following locations:

  • River Road at the Jaaska Road/Nisula Road intersection - closed due to a washout 
  • Portage Creek Road - washout at first bridge
  • Delints Road – closed

MTO staff and contractors are currently assessing the damage at each location. Repairs are underway. Water levels are currently high in the Sunshine area, but levels are expected to begin to recede.

For the latest information, people can call 511, MTO’s Road Information Line to find out about current road closures.