THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay is updating the situation as of 12:15PM: Residents are asked to be patient and cautious while flooding recedes and the City responds to pump failures at the Atlantic Avenue Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant and other City infrastructure.
“At 8:15 am this morning we declared an emergency due to the excessive amount of rain that has fallen on the City,” said Acting Mayor Ken Boshcoff. “Issuing a declaration of emergency simply allows other levels of government to provide assistance if needed. The Emergency Operations Control Group met this morning and we are working closely with the Ministry of the Environment and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to get the sewage treatment facility up and running.”
The City is asking residents to avoid flushing or releasing water down the drain until the situation is addressed. Crews are pumping water from the Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant in order to assess the damage and determine the next course of action.
“Due to the precipitation, the sewer systems are at capacity and numerous areas are experiencing flooding, including homeowners,” said Darrell Matson, General Manager – Infrastructure & Operations. “Pumps are being used to remove water from the main pumps to allow us to assess the damage. We’re not sure of any timelines yet.”
Residents are asked not to eat food that has become wet due to basement flooding, said Thunder Bay Fire Chief John Hay. “We’re asking people not to go into their basements. If the water has reached electrical outlets they should call Thunder Bay Hydro at 343-1111 or 343-1002,” Hay said. “We’re also asking people not to call 911 unless they’re in peril. With everyone’s patience and cooperation we will get through this.”
The Lakehead Regional Conservation Authority has declared a flood warning after between 25 and 108 millimetres of rain fell on the area over the last 24 to 36 hours. “People should stay away from flowing water for at least the next couple of days. More rain is on the way and it isn’t safe to be near rivers and streams,” said Bill Bartley, Chair of the Lakehead Regional Conservation Authority.
City crews are also assessing damage to roads and trails. Tim Commisso, City Manager, said the City will be examining ways to assist the public. “We’re looking at things we can do to help, such as opening up facilities.”