Friday, October 24, 2014

Be cautious around water: MNR

Residents are reminded that the flood warning remains in effect for the Atikokan, Fort Frances, and Rainy River 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.

Water levels in Rainy Lake and the Rainy River are expected to rise, and the forecast is showing the potential for further rainfall accumulations for the area.
Given the volume of water upstream in the system, further impacts are likely.
The MNR is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions.
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 MNR, Resolute Forest Products, and Rainy Lake Tribal Resource Management Inc. are monitoring forest resource access roads in the area to identify hazards.
On controlled water systems within the district, the MNR currently is managing water control structures, in partnership with operators, to mitigate impacts and minimize flows into Rainy Lake.
We share information and monitor current water levels on non-MNR controlled systems through interaction with the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board.
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, 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 75,000 sandbags) to unincorporated area fire departments, 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 can contact their local fire department or emergency response organizations where local supplies have been exhausted and where an emergency situation is imminent.
Shoreline structures (i.e., sheds, pumphouses, boathouses, saunas, etc.) often are used as storage facilities for substances that may be harmful to the lake.
Residents should remove any potential contaminants (e.g., gas, oil, pesticides, chemicals, etc.) from these areas and take measures to ensure they do not contaminate the lake ecosystem.
The latest information lake levels, dam settings, and basin flows can be found online at www.ijc.org/en_/RLWWB

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