Thunder Bay

Kenora flooding fears wash over from Rainy River

The Town of Rainy River is asking for more volunteers to help with sandbagging efforts as they continue to battle high water levels.

Rainy River, Couchiching First Nation, Fort Frances remain under state of emergency

Water levels have risen even since this photo was taken at Rainy River on Sunday. (Matt DeWolfe/Lake of the Woods Control Board)

The Town of Rainy River is building a dyke across a road in an effort to stop rising waters from doing further damage in the small Northwestern Ontario town.

Four homes and a business were cut off from the town by a washout on the road, according to Rainy River's Chief Administrative Officer Veldron Vogan.

Sandbagging efforts continued in Rainy River with approximately 15 homes needing protection from flooding, Vogan said on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, town crews in Fort Frances were busy stockpiling sand bags around low-lying areas, as waters rose again over night.

"We have sandbagged our sewage treatment plant," Fort Frances information officer Patrick Briere sad. "This is because we were advised that the water levels in the lower river rose over the last 24 hours, they're up seven or eight inches."

Rainy River, Couchiching First Nation and Fort Frances are all under states of emergency.

Water levels highest in 85 years of record keeping

Weekend rain pushed the Rainy River to record breaking high levels.

Lake of the Woods Control Board spokesperson Matt DeWolfe said that, what Rainy River is facing today, will hit Kenora soon.

“A lot of sandbagging is going on,” he said.

“What that means for people around Lake of the Woods and the Kenora area and downstream on [the] Winnipeg river is that levels on Lake of the Woods will be rising very quickly over the next week.”

He noted Lake of the Woods is expected to rise at least 30 cm in the next week.

“[We’re] seeing the results of weeks of very high rainfall,” he said.

“Additional heavy rainfall over the weekend has resulted in the Rainy River ... climbing to a historic new maximum level. With extremely high flows entering lake of the woods, the system is extremely saturated."

Dewolfe sard he is "personally, quite surprised that we got up to that point. We knew we had a very wet spring, but the amount of rainfall in that area has been quite extraordinary."

Listen for an update on flooding conditions on Superior Morning, Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. ET and CT.


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