THUNDER BAY — Flooding caused by the spring thaw and recent heavy rainfalls continues to disrupt traffic on numerous roadways in the western part of Northwestern Ontario.
The community of Pickle Lake is now affected by a major washout that has forced the closure of Highway 599.
It was reported Saturday morning by the Ministry of Transportation.
Video posted late Sunday on the Facebook page of NWORoads.ca showed large sections of the the culvert being swept downstream at Wiggle Creek, 15 kilometres north of the junction with Highway 516.
There's no detour available.
Deputy Pickle Lake Mayor Kayla Blakney says this is the third washout on Highway 599 in the past week.
She said the first two were repaired within a day, and that a crew is working diligently to reopen the road again as soon as possible.
Blakney said the local council is not declaring a state of emergency, and that "patience is crucial."
She noted that trucks were able to bring fresh supplies to the community of 350 on Friday – between washouts – so groceries and fuel remain available.
"We're in good spirits," she said, adding that in the event of an emergency, people could still leave by air if necessary.
"We can ride this out for sometime without too much concern...This is the reality of [living in] the North."
According to Ontario511, as of Monday morning traffic remained blocked or disrupted at at least 15 highway locations in the Northwest, due either to washouts or to water covering the road.
These include two other closures on the highway to the north of Pickle Lake.