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Kashechewan declares state of emergency

A state of emergency has been declared by Kashechewan First Nation due to the potential for flooding in the James Bay community
Kashechewan Evacuation
Kashechewan First Nation evacuees arrive in Thunder Bay in 2017. (File).

KASHECHEWAN, Ont. - The chief and band of Kashechewan First Nation have passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency due to the potential for rising flood waters threatening the community.

The resolution was passed by the band council and Chief Leo Friday on Friday and reads: “The only feasible way to protect life is to have everyone out of the community until flood waters recede.”

The community of approximately 1,900 people is located on the James Bay coast along the southern bank of the Albany River.

Ice breakup on the river has resulted in flooding and the evacuation of community members every spring for the past several years.

The city of Thunder Bay said early last week that it is preparing to host evacuees and could receive as many as 250 people from Kashechewan by April 18.

The community declared a state of emergency in 2018 and last year the city hosted more than 350 evacuees. Other communities across northern Ontario, including Wawa, Hearst, and Timmins also hosted evacuees.