The Emergency Measures group on Friday afternoon reviewed the progress that the communities of Fort Frances and Couchiching First Nation were making to control rising waters on both Rainy Lake and Rainy River. Recent changes to the weekend weather forecasts were providing some optimism to the control group, but they insisted that there was still lots of work to be done before the emergency ends.
Beginning this morning, the Town of Fort Frances had begun reinforcing the bank of the Upper River along 7 Oaks. Twelve locations along the upper river in the 7 Oaks area had already been eroded. Twelve erosion locations along the river ranging in width from 3 meters to 45 meters have already been identified. Erosion protection similar to that already constructed at the Point Park the protection will run a length of almost 1500 feet and in many cases will be much higher to meet the current sidewalk height.
At Couchiching, Christine Jourdain noted that a similar project is being planned to protect the homes along Rainy Lake Drive. The engineering work is being completed and it is hoped to get the project underway quickly.
Both communities expect to continue sandbagging through the weekend. To date the Ministry of Natural Resources have distributed over 130,000 sand bags and have 26,000 on standby in Fort Frances. Fort Frances will begin sandbagging again at 8:00 Saturday morning.
Due to the high water, and potential dangers, the emergency control group have requested the organizers of the July 1 Bathtub Derby to postpone their races to a later date. Permission to use the Point Park beach has been withdrawn by the Town of Fort Frances.