May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Flood waters force more evacuations in northern Ontario community

The Northern Ontario reserve of Kaschechewan is seen in this undated handout aerial photo. First Nations communities threatened by rising waters each spring should be moved off flood plains once and for all, a member of the Ontario legislature said Tuesday after flood fears triggered another wave of evacuations in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO


KASHECHEWAN, Ont. – Provincial officials say more residents of a remote northern Ontario community were being flown out of the area Monday, as evacuations continued due to flood threats.

Community leaders in the Ontario First Nation of Kashechewan had asked the federal and provincial governments for help relocating those who hadn’t already been evacuated on the weekend.

About 600 people were relocated to Thunder Bay and Greenstone on Saturday and Sunday despite poor weather Sunday that hampered evacuation efforts.

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Andrew Morrison, a spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, says other places are being lined up to host the remaining evacuees from the community of 2,000.

On Monday, plans were to transport 360 people to Cornwall and another 270 to Kapuskasing.

Both federal and provincial governments are involved in the efforts to move the remaining evacuees from the community on the shores of James Bay, after a state of emergency was declared due to rising waters on the Albany River.

The community has faced rising flood waters for several days and officials say the flooding has affected critical infrastructure, such as sewer systems.

Last week some residents were forced from their homes and moved to communities further south but were allowed to return as the situation eased.

The situation, however, was expected to get worse, prompting the expanded evacuation, Morrison said.

Kashechewan has a history of spring time flooding, but federal plans to move the community off the flood plain fell through several years ago.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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