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Clean up continues in Port Dover following nasty weekend weather

Flooding in Port Dover, Ont. on Feb. 24, 2019. Norfolk County Fire Department via Twitter

Residents in Port Dover, Ont., are continuing to clean up the mess left behind by this past weekend’s storms that brought extreme wind gusts, snow, and rain to much of the province.

Several homes and businesses in the Lake Erie community experienced flooding as a result of the strong gusts. Environment Canada said peak gusts of 124 km/h were recorded in nearby Long Point.

A flood watch was issued on Friday for all areas along the lakeshore by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority, with officials saying lake levels were expected to rise Sunday morning and peak in the afternoon.

In addition to calls for wind and water damage, emergency crews were also kept busy Sunday rescuing two people in their seventies in two separate incidents.

A 70-year-old man ice fishing out on Lake Erie had to be rescued after becoming stranded by intense wind gusts, said OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk.

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“He decided to walk out into Lake Erie to go fishing in an ice hut, however as he tried to walk back to shore, the amount of wind and the gusts of wind were actually pushing him along the ice,” he said. “He hunkered down with an ice pick and was able to contact 911.”

Sanchuk said police and Norfolk firefighters also had to rescue a 77-year-old woman from her flooded River Drive home.

“When officers got there, officers realized the water was almost up to their hips,” Sanchuk said, adding fire crews were then contacted. The woman was removed from the home safely with the help of an inflatable dinghy. No injuries were reported.

Sanchuk said that while water levels in the lake were receding, residents were reminded to remain cautious around waterways.

“No ice is safe ice, don’t put yourself in jeopardy as well as emergency service personnel if you don’t have to go out on the ice,” he said, adding the 70-year-old ice fisher was lucky he hadn’t fallen through into the frigid waters.

Several road barricades remained in place in Port Dover Monday morning for clean up. Sanchuk said some motorists were driving around them to get a better view of the situation.

“You’re putting yourself in jeopardy, but not only that, you’re putting everyone else in jeopardy that’s trying to work down there and clean everything up.”

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