Flooding and road closures
Published Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:27PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 11, 2018 7:48PM EDT
Heavy rainfall in the Sault Ste. Marie area recently is causing major concerns for people north of the city.
Downey Creek is raging after rain in recent days. It has overflowed, putting people's homes in jeopardy.
Residents say it always runs steady, but sand, rocks and other debris from higher ground have caused water to overflow its banks.
"I wasn't here when it washed out, but my wife was. She was on the phone to me, she was crying and balling, she was freaking right out. An 85-foot tree went down nice and slow just into the creek. Thank
God it didn't fall on my building." said resident Sean Ahearn.
Joe Genys is a longtime resident of the area.
"I've been here 40 years, I've never seen this happen. This is the first and obviously we need some action. We're not getting any action from the ministry at all. We're not getting any action from anybody." said Genys.
People who live in the area say they've been in touch with both the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Ministry of Transportation.
As water erodes the banks near buildings and flows into homes, residents say nothing has been done to fix the problem.
"Now it's pointing directly at Highway 17. If I don’t do something about it or they don't do something about it, I'm going to lose not only my property, but my building. Like everything's on its way out." said Ahearn.
The man who owns this property says all of the water and debris you see behind me use to be a manicured lawn. He and the other yearlong residents of this area say it's going to cost thousands of dollars to get the creek back running the way it was.
Resident Bill Mitchell says they need someone to fix the problem as soon as possible.
"They got to, today, tomorrow, tonight, I don't care. They got to start from the mouth of the creek and go up to the highway. Even if they just dig a trench to get this water to stop running through our properties." said Mitchell.
Meanwhile residents are doing all they can to re-direct water from their property.
And Ontario Provincial Police closed Highway 17 from Wawa to Batchawana and Highway 101 from Wawa to Batchawana due to road washouts overnight Wednesday, but now both have one lane reopened.