Many residents north of the Kenora By-pass are at risk of being cut off or even stranded, due to significant high water levels causing a lot of roadways to be washed out or completely submerged in water.
Kenora Fire Chief, Kent Readman is advising residents to create an evacuation plan, as their access could be washed out quickly and without warning.
“We are trying to make people aware that there is a possibility they should be prepared to evacuate on their own,” says Readman. “Look out for family and friends, and have a plan in place of somewhere you can go for a day or two or longer depending on how long this is going to last.”
“There is the possibility of getting cut off from everything, which will include police, fire, and EMS, we just physically won’t be able to get there,” adds Readman.
If residents do get stranded Readman is recommending that they have stocked up on some essentials that will last them until their access is repaired.
“Water, food, medication all those sorts of things that will get you through a few days. I know our roads crews are fixing out the washout roads as quickly as they can, but sometimes it’s just going to take a while and it’s becoming harder to fix them as the water keeps rising.”
Since April 20, water levels on Lake of the Woods have risen by roughly 25”, while levels on the Winnipeg River have risen by about 67” since early April.
Currently, Essex Road, School Road, East Melick Road, and Coker Roads are the most vulnerable areas at this time.
On Thursday (May 11, 2022), city crews, with assistance from local contractors, will be working on the East Melick and Essex Road intersection tomorrow. Traffic will still be permitted through the area, but please expect delays.
Sandbags and sand are available for residents at the Kenora Fire Hall, Station 1, and the sand depot located near the Operations Centre.
Readman concludes by asking residents to keep an eye on the Kenora Fire and Emergency Service social media pages. He says fire crews are patrolling the affected areas regularly to monitor water levels and address the risk or damage of roadways.
Kenora Fire will give residents as much of a warning as they can to allow for residents to evacuate if needed.
On Tuesday evening (May 10, 2022), the City of Kenora declared a Local State of Emergency, due to the increased flooding risk throughout the area.
This state of emergency will allow the city the potential opportunity to access provincial assistance with the situation.