Kashechewan First Nation Evacuation Underway

Flooding in Kashechewan is impacting the community.
Flooding in Kashechewan is impacting the community.

Kashechewan First Nation
Kashechewan First Nation

THUNDER BAY – Up to 304 people from Kashechewan First Nation will head to Thunder Bay arriving later today. The evacuees are headed out of the community to prevent lose of life from flooding that hits the region as the Albany River breaks up in the spring.

There is potential for ice jams on the river that cause water to gather up and could flood the community.

Due to that threat of flooding caused by ice jams on the Albany River, the leadership of Kashechewan First Nation has requested the evacuation of vulnerable residents. Children, seniors and those with medical conditions are being airlifted to Kapuskasing and Thunder Bay starting Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, 2016.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management are coordinating the operations with support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, local First Nations and municipal officials and the federal government.

The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre is now at enhanced monitoring. Field officers have been deployed to Kashechewan.

More than 1200 residents may need to be evacuated from the community. On Friday, April 29, 236 were evacuated with 238 additional residents expected to be evacuated to Kapuskasing on Saturday, April 30.

Plans are also in place to evacuate the remainder of the vulnerable resident and some of the remaining population (approximately 304) residents to Thunder Bay on May 1.

Kashechewan
Aerial map of Kashechewan