FORT FRANCES, Ont. – Rising flood waters are keeping Fort Frances and Couchiching First Nation under a state of emergency.
The town of Fort Frances and Couchiching First Nation made simultaneous declarations last Thursday after heavy rainfall elevated water levels in Rainy Lake and the Rain River.
Town of Fort Frances public information officer Patrick Briere said the whole town has been affected.
“I’m pretty sure everybody in town has some ground water in their basement,” Briere said when reached Monday morning.
“We only know of very few that have backed up sewage. We have some proactive, preventive measures in place with portable pumps in different locations around town bypassing our infrastructure right to help alleviate the overload on our system.”
The sewage treatment plant was placed on bypass mode on Saturday evening to help deal with the extra water.
Significant damage to the Government Dock was reported over the weekend, with multiple sections getting washed away, and some of the homes on the waterfront have substantial water over their docks, with it starting to approach their homes.
Water levels are expected to rise another 30 centimetres, Briere said.
“Water levels on the Rainy Lake and Rainy River are quite high,” he said. “We are in the process of looking to the province for some assistance with sandbags.
Residents in both the town and Couchiching First Nation are being asked to conserve water and remove sump pumps from the sanitary sewer system to allow the sewage treatment facility to catch up with the additional volume.
Current weather forecasts say there is a chance of thunderstorms this evening with more rain possible later in the week.
(With files from CKPR Radio)