300 Evacuees from Kashechewan Headed to Thunder Bay

Flooding in Kashechewan - Photo by Enoch Williams.
Flooding in Kashechewan - Photo by Enoch Williams. 2014

THUNDER BAY – “We have a long history of stepping up to help our neighbours from the north,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “We are looking forward to welcoming our guests and assisting them in their time of need.”

The City of Thunder Bay is preparing to receive 300 people as early as Sunday from Kashechewan First Nation, which has declared a state of emergency due to potential for flooding.

MP Charlie Angus says, “The first stage evacuation of Kashechewan has begun. This is a frustrating exercise that takes place every year because the engineering reports have shown that the dike wall is not safe. This requires the evacuation of the seniors, families with young children and the sick. Planes are leaving today with 700 plus evacuees leaving the community.”

The City’s response is a coordinated effort in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, Aboriginal Affairs Northern Development Canada, Community Care Access Centre, Local Health Integration Network, and the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Ontario (OFMEM). The Municipal Emergency Control Group met this afternoon to initiate preparations.

Working closely with OFMEM representatives, the City will continue to monitor the situation and planning is ongoing.  A full cost recovery agreement is in place between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the City.

Kashechewan is a First Nation community located near James Bay in Northern Ontario.