Emergency response officials are working to reunite families who were separated during the evacuation of Kashechewan First Nation, including some who came to Thunder Bay.


Thunder Bay deputy fire chief Greg Hankkio said the city is working with community agencies to try to help evacuees from Kashechewan First Nation feel at home during a difficult time. Nicole Ireland/CBC (CBC)

Hundreds of people were airlifted out of the James Bay coastline community on the weekend due to flooding of the Albany River.

More than 150 of them are staying at Thunder Bay's Victoria Inn.

Others are in Kapuskasing, Timiskaming Shores, Sudbury and Cornwall.

Thunder Bay deputy fire chief Greg Hankkio said the people flown out were primarily families with children, the elderly and people with medical conditions.

He told CBC News on Monday that nine evacuees will soon be coming to Thunder Bay to join their family members.

Hankkio said eight of them had been sent to Cornwall.

"We do the best we can to keep the families together," he said.

Wayne Noah left Kashechewan with his wife and two young children on Sunday afternoon.

Although he said the flooding hadn't reached homes yet, he's concerned about the whereabouts of his other children.

"I'm pretty sure they're all right," Noah said. "But ... I'm worried if they're not out of the community yet."

Several city departments and community agencies have sent staff to the Victoria Inn to work with the evacuees.

Noah said the Red Cross provided a stroller for his 18-month-old baby.

Hankkio said the Northwest Community Access Centre is arranging medical appointments for people who need them.

Thunder Bay Transit is providing bus passes so Kashechewan residents aren't stranded at the hotel.

"We're trying to make them as comfortable as we can and make this their home away from home while they're here with us," said Hankkio.