The Municipality of Red Lake has provided an update regarding the Highway 105 closure.
"We have been advised that MTO crews continue to work diligently to have the highway open this evening," the municipality says in a social media post on Monday afternoon (May 9, 2022).
They concluded by saying they will update again once they learn more.
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Some Red Lake residents are still cut off from either entering or leaving the community, after a washout at Caribou Creek on Saturday (May 7, 2022).
Red Lake Mayor, Fred Mota spoke with KenoraOnline on Monday morning (May 9, 2022), and says that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is still having difficulties dealing with the current water level.
“They’re trying to create some damming with large boulders, rocks, and other equipment they use to stop the flow,” says Mota. “Right now they’re continuing to build, and they have a large culvert that they’ve loaded up from Dryden into the Red Lake area.”
He mentions, that if MTO crews can control the speed of the water, are able to install the culvert, and depending on the weather, one lane could be open Monday afternoon, after 3:00 p.m.
Environment Canada is calling for 20-30 millimetres of rain to hit the region on Monday, which could cause problems for crews being able to control the rising water levels at the scene.
The road surface completely washed out at approximately noon on Saturday, May 7, 2022, and it is understood that a logging road, which could've served as an alternate route was also washed away.
Mayor Mota says that anywhere from 50-100 residents that are unable to enter back into the community, have reached out, and are having challenges finding accommodations. At this time Mayor Mota is unclear on exactly how many Red Lake residents are stranded outside of the community.
Moving forward, Mota says he’s still waiting on additional information from MTO, but says he will update the community via the municipalities Facebook page as soon as he can. Residents will also get updated on the highway closure, through the municipalities Emergency Alert System.
Mayor Mota noted that city staff have been in contact with the Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital and the city's emergency management group and have contingencies in place should an emergency arise in the municipality of Red Lake before the highway reopens.
Highway 105 isn't the only northwestern Ontario highway dealing with flood-like conditions. Over the weekend, portions of Highway 605, 601, and 665 have been closed due to roadway flooding's or washed-out roads.