The Ministry of Natural Resources (Fort Frances District) is reminding area residents that the flood warning remains in effect for the Fort Frances, Rainy River, and Atikokan areas.
Recent rainfall has resulted in very high inflow conditions throughout all watersheds within the district, including the Seine River, Atikokan River, Rainy Lake, and Lake of the Woods.
Information from the International Joint Commission (IJC) indicates that water levels on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River are expected to rise—and the weather forecast is showing the potential for further rainfall accumulations for the area.
The Rainy Lake water level is forecast to rise roughly 10-15 cm (four-six inches) over the next seven days.
Given the volume of water upstream in the system, further impacts are likely.
The MNR is closely monitoring the weather and watershed, as conditions develop.
Extreme caution is advised:
- around any fast moving creeks and rivers;
- on area lakes due to the potential for submerged hazards and floating debris; and
- on all forest access roads due to the potential for water on roads, washouts, and heavy rutting.
The public should avoid travelling on unfamiliar roads or crossing any submerged roads as there may be a risk to traveller safety.
Barricades are erected at roads where known washouts or dangerous driving conditions have been observed.
The Sapawe/Upsala forest access road (between kilometres 12 and 35) recently was re-opened, but public is advised to travel with caution.
The MNR, Resolute Forest Products, and Rainy Lake Tribal Resource Management Inc. are monitoring forest resource access roads in the area to identify hazards.
The MNR is ready to respond to protect and repair Crown roads, bridges, and infrastructure impacted by flooding.
We also are working closely with unincorporated areas, First Nations, and municipal emergency response partners to provide information, assistance, and resources as we are able.
To date, the MNR has committed personnel and resources (including more than 100,000 sandbags) to unincorporated areas, municipalities, and First Nations’ communities.
Individual property owners are encouraged to continue to purchase sandbags from local suppliers to protect their shoreline property.
Or they contact their local fire department or emergency response organizations, where local supplies have been exhausted and where an emergency situation is imminent.