Flooding caused by two days of heavy rain have closed roads and bridges and prompted a state of emergency for the two of Wawa.
Wawa was first hit by the downpour Oct. 24. The Ontario Provincial Police on Oct. 25 issued a press release advising motorists that Highway 101, five kilometres east of Wawa, had been closed as a result of the flooding.
According to Environment Canada, the weather is expected to take a turn for the better. No rain is predicted for Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures reaching a high of 4 C. According to media reports, the two-day rainfall was measured at 133 mm as of 8 a.m. Oct. 26.
Local officials and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are co-ordinating response to the flooding in the Lake Superior area. Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is ready to co-ordinate provincial assistance should it become necessary, the province stated in a news release. The OPP has responded to calls for help and evacuated residents isolated when roads were washed out by the rushing water. No one has been injured.
Michipicoten First Nation has also declared a state of emergency. Local roads and highways there are also affected by the heavy rainfall. The OPP advises that Highway 17 at Wawa remains closed in both directions and encourages motorists to stay off the roads. Work is currently underway to reopen the road.
The storm has also caused a disruption of 911 services in Michipicoten First Nation and Dubreuilville.
Bell Canada is working to re-establish the service.
EMO has deployed a field officer and is in contact with local officials to provide advice and relay any requests for assistance.
"It is my understanding the situation is improving and that one road is now passable," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the area, and we hope this situation is remedied without lasting harm. We’ll continue to monitor progress closely, and we are prepared, if called upon, to take action to help the people of Wawa and the Michipicoten First Nation.”
Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha express in a press release his support for the people of Wawa and surrounding area as they face flooding danger.
“Previous to a state of emergency being declared, there were mounting concerns over the state of local bridges and roads which needed serious repairs,” he said. “We are concerned that with this flooding the need for assistance to repair them is even greater.”
Mantha said he has has spoken with the Ministry of Community Safety and expressed the need to act quickly to assist the community of Wawa. He said he will meet with Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki once he arrives in Wawa today.
“I have assured her that I, along with my staff and colleagues, are here to assist in any way we can. I also want to thank emergency officials and local leaders for the outstanding job you are doing to keep people safe.”