The provincial government says they’re sending resources to northwestern Ontario as residents continue to navigate extreme and rising floodwaters across the region.
"I know that extraordinary weather conditions have created challenges for many families and businesses in the Northwest,” said Greg Rickford, acting MPP for Kenora-Rainy River.
“Ministry officials are actively working on the flooding situation in partnership with municipalities and local services boards in unorganized territories. Municipalities and ministry officials will continue this important work to respond directly to the needs of those who have been impacted.”
Spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General, Brent Ross, has confirmed that Emergency Management Ontario, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry have all deployed resources to affected communities.
In the region, Kenora, Red Lake, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Wabaseemoong Independent Nation, Ignace, Emo, Fort Frances and a number of First Nation communities in the Fort Frances area have all declared a State of Emergency, which allows communities to access assistance from the province.
In an interview with Q104 and KenoraOnline this week, Kenora MP Eric Melillo says he is calling on the federal government to step up and respond to the ongoing situation, which has caused evacuations, roadway closures, flooding and washouts across the region.
The severe flooding conditions have been caused by extreme weather conditions throughout the winter and spring seasons. It began with over 305 cm of snow, which broke a 61-year-old record for the area, as well as a wet start to the spring.
To date, 107.6 mm of rain has fallen in Kenora this month, well above the average of 80.8 mm for May. The record high for the month is about 215 mm, set back in 2007.
The Lake of the Woods Control Board says flows into Lake of the Woods remain over double the maximum amount of water they’re able to release through fully opened dams in the Kenora area, and a decline in water levels is still likely to be multiple weeks away.