Thunder Bay

Kashechewan First Nation evacuees expected in Thunder Bay late this week, city says

Thunder Bay could begin receiving evacuees from the James Bay community of Kashechewan First Nation by Friday, although that timeline is still subject to change, the city said.

James Bay community declared state of emergency last week due to flooding

Evacuees from Kashechewan First Nation are expected to arrive in Thunder Bay later this week. The community has declared a state of emergency due to flooding. (Erik White/CBC )

Thunder Bay could begin receiving evacuees from the James Bay community of Kashechewan First Nation by Friday, although that timeline is still subject to change, the city said.

Kashechewan declared a state of emergency last week due to flooding. Evacuations are scheduled to begin Monday, with residents being taken to cities across Ontario, including Timmins, Kapuskasing, Cornwall, and Thunder Bay.

"We were anticipating somewhere around Friday, again depending on the weather conditions and how many flights are available when they start moving people out of Kashechewan," said Greg Hankkio, Thunder Bay deputy fire chief. "That's really the date that we're looking at right now."

Hankkio said a teleconference between the city and province is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday. Any details as to a new evacuation timeline will be available after that.

About 250 Kashechewan residents are expected to be taken to Thunder Bay.

Flooding is an annual concern for Kashechewan. The federal government has said it plans to relocate the community to higher ground within the next 10 years, but delays have frustrated community members, who say they're ready to move without waiting for the government to act.

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