Friday, July 25, 2014

More residents forced to flee flooding

KASHECHEWAN, Ont.—Provincial officials say more residents of a remote Northern Ontario community were being flown out of the area today as evacuations continued due to flood threats.
Community leaders in Kashechewan had asked the federal and provincial governments for help relocating those who hadn’t already been evacuated on the weekend.

About 600 people were relocated to Thunder Bay and Greenstone on Saturday and Sunday—despite poor weather yesterday that hampered evacuation efforts.
Andrew Morrison, a spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, said other places were being lined up to host the remaining evacuees from the community of 2,000.
Today, plans were to transport 360 people to Cornwall and another 270 to Kapuskasing.
Both federal and provincial governments are involved in the efforts to move the remaining evacuees from the community on the shores of James Bay after a state of emergency was declared due to rising waters on the Albany River.
The community has faced rising flood waters for several days and officials say the flooding has affected critical infrastructure, such as sewer systems.
Last week, some residents were forced from their homes and moved to communities further south, but were allowed to return as the situation eased.
The situation was expected to get worse, however, prompting the expanded evacuation, Morrison said.
“All the residents of Kashechewan will be moved in the course of the next day or so,” he noted in a phone interview late yesterday.
Kashechewan has a history of spring time flooding, but federal plans to move the community off the flood plain fell through several years ago.

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