Thunder Bay readies for Kashechewan First Nation evacuees

Thunder Bay may see a flood of evacuees from Kashechewan First Nation as the Albany River continues to threaten the James Bay area community

Up to 300 of the community’s residents could arrive in Thunder Bay at any time

Water is rising quickly around Fort Albany and Kashechewan and emergency plans are being put into place in those communities. Thunder Bay is preparing to take in about 300 evacuees, who could arrive at any time. File photo. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Thunder Bay may see a flood of evacuees from Kashechewan First Nation as the Albany River continues to threaten the James Bay-area community.

City officials have been working closely with Emergency Management Ontario over the last week and have been monitoring the situation in the First Nation, which has declared an emergency due to flooding.

Thunder Bay — along with other communities including Kapuskasing, Greenstone, Wawa, Fort Frances, Dryden and others — has been asked by EMO to serve as a host community, the city stated in a press release on Thursday.

Up to 300 of Kashechewan's residents — including the elderly, those with medical concerns and children — could arrive in the city at any time.

To support the potential evacuation to Thunder Bay, Mayor Keith Hobbs has signed an emergency declaration. 

"Thunder Bay is very experienced in dealing with these types of emergencies,” Hobbs said. “We are prepared to provide support to our northern neighbours in their time of need.”

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