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State of emergency still in effect in northern communities

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Some communities in northeastern Ontario remain under a state of emergency due to last Friday’s rain.

Municipal officials said they’ve maintained the status in the event more precipitation creates further problems — expensive ones they can’t afford to repair on their own.

According to Ontario’s flood map, the Far North district remains under a flood watch.

Communities such as Kashechewan, Moosonee, Moose Factory and Attawapiskat are advised to monitor river conditions due to ice breakup in major tributaries.

Meanwhile, smaller municipalities such as Charlton and Dack Township, two hours south of Timmins, remains under a state emergency because it’s still uncovering issues with deteriorating roads.

“It's pretty early to speculate on all the damages, but we're probably well over 200,000, if not upwards of 500,000 of repairs that we're looking at,” said Charlton and Dack Mayor Reeve Sandra Parkin.

Some communities in northeastern Ontario remain under a state of emergency due to last Friday’s rain. (File)

“And, you know, when we have about 280 homes that contribute to our tax levy, that’s a huge portion of our annual budget, right? We just do not have the funds to bear that burden.”

Parkin said residents are being asked to limit their trips and do whatever they can to reduce the load on the roads and report any problem areas they see.

More rain ahead

In nearby Kirkland Lake, the state of emergency also remains in effect. While flooding no longer exists, the problems it created must be addressed, including bodies of water that are higher than normal and there’s more rain in the forecast.

Mayor Stacy Wight says her MPP was able to connect her with the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“So I was able to advocate on all of our behalf,” Wight said.

“I think we drove the issue that our infrastructure is in desperate need of more provincial funding, as well as smaller communities in the north simply cannot tax our way to current infrastructure. So definitely I advocated for throughout the north of our communities, possibly receiving more funding.”

Wight is asking anyone who has video or photos of last week’s flooding to contact the town’s fire hall. She said they will help with their disaster funding claim.

Municipal officials said while this is an unusual situation, it’s been beautiful to see neighbours checking in on one another and helping each other.

  

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