Various roadways north of the Kenora by-pass have been closed due to flooding, cutting off many residents to the community, as well as their cottages.

As we head into the May long weekend, Kenora Fire Chief, Kent Readman is advising cottage and homeowners entering into those areas to use extreme caution.

“There are certain roads closed, so plan ahead for that,” says Readman. “Be careful there are high water levels in certain parts of the city and in the unincorporated area. Stay away from those high water levels.”

On Thursday, (May 12, 2022), the City of Kenora issued an Evacuation Notice for residents in the areas of the East Melick Road and Essex Road. That notice later turned to an Evacuation Order on Friday (May 13, 2022), for all roads north of the Portier Bridge, and southerly on East Melick Road (which included Victoria Crescent, Decemvir Dr, Bell Point Road and residents to the east of this area).

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022, East Melick Road was closed at Essex Road.

City of Kenora road patrollers have been out daily to assess the current state of the flooded areas, and Readman notes there are various depths of water on different roads.

“We have roads that have over 30 inches of water over top of the road. We’re seeing a little bit of stabilization, but with the rain, we experienced yesterday (May 18, 2022), we do expect that to go up. A lot of the information we’re getting from our partners is that water levels could continue to rise for another week.”

The Lake of the Woods Control Board said on Wednesday (May 18, 2022) that the Lake of the Woods went up another 30 centimetres over the last week, while levels on the Winnipeg River are about 6 feet higher than usual. Both watersheds are expected to rise by another 6” or so over the coming week.

The City of Kenora has opened up the Kenora Rec Centre for those that have evacuated, but Readman mentions that no one has signed in as of Thursday (May 19, 2022).

Readman couldn’t give KenoraOnline an exact number of residents that evacuated, but he did say that there are roughly 440 properties in the Black Sturgeon area.

To date, 107.6 mm of rain has fallen in Kenora this month. This is well above the average for May of 80.8 mm. Environment Canada is forecasting another 20-40 mm to hit the area beginning Thursday night (May 19, 2022), into Friday evening (May 19, 2022).