rainy lake high water

High water on Rainy Lake has caused at least one First Nation community in northwesten Ontario to decare a state of emergency. (canadianboater/youtube)

A declaration from Mitaanjigamiing First Nation on Thursday makes it the fifth community in the northwest under a state of emergency.

Fort Frances, Couchiching First Nation, Rainy River and Emo are also struggling with flooding from the rising waters in the Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods watershed.

Mitaanjigamiing's manager, Ed Morrison, said people have been sandbagging since yesterday — and through the night — as they try to protect their water treatment plant and the First Nation's only access road.

But the water keeps rising.

Fort Frances was making some progress with a few days of sun behind them earlier in the week, information officer Patrick Briere said. But unexpected winds on Wednesday led to more damage on the waterfront.

"Those waves yesterday were crashing in and starting to cause some damages to some properties," he said.

"But at the Point Park ... we are seeing those waves caused some good damage to some of our roadways and some of our beach front. It has eroded quite a bit and we're expecting to lose some more property in those areas due to the winds and rain."

Briere noted sandbagging efforts are continuing on waterfront properties.

Tune into Superior Morning Friday morning on CBC Radio for an update on the flooding at Couchiching First Nation.

Northwestern Ontario towns requesting assistance

  • Couchiching First Nation — Request for sandbags and shovels, provided by MNR.
  • Township of EMO — Request for assistance with sandbagging, provided by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, through the MNR.
  • Mitaanjigamiing First Nation — Request for 20,000 sand bags and 20 shovels, provided by the MNR.

Source: Emergency Management Ontario