Black Sturgeon resident, Tami Radke is one of many that chose not to evacuate back on May 14, when the city shut down the East Melick and Essex Road intersection due to flooding.

Radke says she had no choice but to stay so she could protect her property on Essex Road and take care of their various animals.

“We have seven animals out here ourselves,” says Radke in an interview with KenoraOnline on May 19, 2022. “It’s not just easy to pack up large animals, dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds and up and go.”

On May 13, 2022, the City of Kenora issued an Evacuation Order for residents who live in the area of the Portier bridge and southerly on East Melick Road and were asked to evacuate as the roads in that area became very unstable and unsafe to travel on.

Fortunately, the East Melick and Essex Road intersection reopened on Friday (May 20, 2022), after crews worked to build up that section of road. Before reopening, Radke was literally trapped at her home, as all roads out of the area were closed.

“We’re hoping that we can have some access, as I think there are four ways of getting out here. If something could get rectified, where at least everyone has one way they can drive through, but it’s just too risky.”

Currently, crews continue working 500m north of Bells Point Road. The work will continue throughout the rest of the week, with timelines and updates coming in the next day or two.

In response to the flooding this spring, Radke created the East Melick Area Flood 2022 Facebook page to interact with residents, and provide road and water condition updates.

“The intent of that was for everyone to be able to communicate, and if anyone could help one another, if we could do that, that would be great.”

The over 305 cm of snow seen this winter, and the already 250 mm of precipitation seen since April 1, caused lake, river, and creek levels to rise drastically, causing overland flooding in low-lying areas north of the Kenora by-pass.

She notes that fortunately where they live on Essex Road is high enough from the lake, that their home isn’t subject to flooding. The only concern is a little run-off on the northwest and south side of their house. Some of her neighbours haven’t been so lucky, with some just leaving their flooded homes.