About 10,000 sandbags and counting: Spirits lift as flood risk falls in Clarington, Ont.
Emergency centre closing for the night after not being used by any residents, municipality says
As the rain tapers off, the risk of flooding is falling in Clarington, Ont., and residents are feeling their spirits rising, the local fire chief says.
"I'll be honest, I think most residents are feeling a little better now," Chief Gordon Weir told CBC Toronto, saying much of the flooding seen in the municipality earlier Friday has now dissipated.
Clarington activated its Emergency Operations Centre earlier Friday as localized flooding hit the Cedar Crest Beach area amid heavy rain across southern Ontario. The municipality has opened an evacuation centre at the Newcastle & District Recreation Complex at 1780 Rudell Rd.
But by Friday evening it closed the centre, saying in a news release that it was not used by any of its residents.
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Portable toilets and cots had been set up at the emergency centre in case residents do feel they need to leave their homes, he said. The Salvation Army, Red Cross and Durham Regional Police were also ready to help anyone who might have needed to evacuate.
'The bulk of the rain has fallen'
Over the course of the day, emergency responders were in the Cedar Crest Beach area filling sandbags and delivering them to homes in need. City crews are clearing outflow so that the marsh continues to empty out into Lake Ontario.
Weir estimates at least 10,000 sandbags have been been deployed already and some 5,000 to 10,000 more are on standby, should residents need them.
Officers with the Durham Regional Police Service went door-to-door in the area to check on residents and their homes Friday, but most said they will stay in place, an earlier news release said.
Some properties experienced flooding, the release said, and city staff were also assessing low-lying areas that could be vulnerable.
"If the rains stop and the winds don't pick up then I think we're out of the woods," said Weir, adding lake levels remain quite high and it may not be until late June or early July until they begin to recede.
The municipality is still advising all residents to stay away from the lake area and avoid walking on or near the bluffs.
Cedar Crest Beach Road remains open only to local traffic and emergency vehicles. The emergency centre may reopen if the situation "escalates," Friday evening's release says.
But for now, Environment Canada has said "the bulk of the rain has fallen."
For Weir, who has been a resident of Clarington since 1979, Friday's flooding is the worst he can remember in many years.
"There has been some localized flooding but nothing like this," said Weir.
With files from Andrea Janus