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Northern communities cope with heavy rain

Northeastern Ontario received a rainfall warning on Friday and at that time, no one knew how bad it would turn out to be. (File) Northeastern Ontario received a rainfall warning on Friday and at that time, no one knew how bad it would turn out to be. (File)
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Northeastern Ontario received a rainfall warning on Friday and at that time, no one knew how bad it would turn out to be.

Since then, Kirkland Lake and the Township of Evanturel have declared a state of emergency in their communities due to municipal infrastructure not being able to absorb the heavy rain.

“If you if you look at how many roads have been washed out, it's just it's tragic throughout our region, said Kirkland Lake Mayor Stacy Wight.

Wight said Kirkland Lake’s emergency services knocked on more than 100 doors and had to evacuate eight households.

Now she’s waiting to hear how many people are affected by sewage backup.

“So because the system was taking in more than it could actually pump out, we did see backups in a sanitary sewer system,” she said.

“But that has also subsided and we are back to normal operations.”

Wight says the municipality and residents can apply for disaster recovery assistance from the province.

In Evanturel, near Englehart, officials said Friday’s storm left two households cut off from emergency services due to a compromised bridge and a culvert failure on Harmen Road.

“We've been in contact with them every day by phone and they have our road foreman’s telephone number as an emergency contact,” said Deputy Mayor Barb Beachey.

“We have to find a way of getting them out.”

Municipal officials add there are many places in the North where there is only one or two ways in and washouts like the ones on Friday put people at risk.

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