Thunder Bay hosting Attawapiskat flood evacuees

Over 100 people from Attawapiskat First Nation have spent their second night in Thunder Bay and more may be on the way.

Attawapiskat, Pic Mobert First Nation evacuees also staying in Fort Frances, Geraldton

More than 100 flood evacuees from Attawapiskat First Nation have spent their second night in Thunder Bay and more may be on the way.  

Fire chief John Hay said 122 people arrived late Friday and are staying at the Valhalla Inn. He said officials were preparing to welcome more Attawapiskat residents, possibly on Sunday afternoon.  

Ice jams and increased water flow on the Attawapiskat River are threatening the community, according to Emergency Management Ontario's website.  

The website said that in addition to those headed for Thunder Bay, other Attawapiskat residents whose homes were affected by sewer backups were being airlifted to Fort Frances, Ont. On Sunday, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Marty Singleton said 62 evacuees had arrived on Saturday and were staying at a local hotel. 

Greenstone municipality Mayor Ron Beaulieu told CBC News that the town of Geraldton, Ont., was preparing its arena to house more than 100 Attawapiskat evacuees, adding he expected them to be there Sunday afternoon.

Beaulieu said that in addition,15 residents from Pic Mobert First Nation, which also declared a state of emergency due to flooding, had arrived in Geraldton on Saturday and are staying in motels.

Attawapiskat and Pic Mobert are the latest communities whose members are seeking refuge in Thunder Bay and Greenstone.

Flooding on the Albany River forced Kashechewan First Nation to send its most vulnerable residents away last week. Those staying in Thunder Bay and Greenstone returned home Friday, after Kashechewan  leaders deemed conditions to be safe.