Today, Premier Dalton McGuinty released the following statement on the declaration of a state of emergency by the Municipality of Wawa:
“Following a night of heavy rain, the Municipality of Wawa has declared a state of emergency as a result of severe flooding. Our government has been in contact with Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki to offer support during this challenging time.
Local officials and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are co-ordinating response to the flooding in the Lake Superior area. Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is ready to co-ordinate provincial assistance should it become necessary. The OPP has responded to calls for help and evacuated residents isolated when roads were washed out by the rushing water. No one has been injured.
Michipicoten First Nation has also declared a state of emergency. Local roads and highways there are also affected by the heavy rainfall. The OPP advises that Highway 17 at Wawa is closed in both directions and encourages motorists to stay off the roads. Work is currently underway to reopen the road.
The storm has also caused a disruption of 9-1-1 services in Michipicoten First Nation and Dubreuilville. Bell Canada is working to re-establish the service. EMO has deployed a field officer and is in contact with local officials to provide advice and relay any requests for assistance.
It is my understanding the situation is improving and that one road is now passable. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in the area, and we hope this situation is remedied without lasting harm. We’ll continue to monitor progress closely, and we are prepared, if called upon, to take action to help the people of Wawa and the Michipicoten First Nation.”