Advertisement

Muskoka Lakes declares flooding state of emergency

Four communities under a state of emergency due to flooding
WATCH ABOVE: Water levels continues to rise in Ontario's cottage country and more rain is in the forecast. Shallima Maharaj reports.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes declared a flooding state of emergency Sunday morning as Lake Muskoka waters “continue to rise,” local mayor Phil Harding said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

Township officials are recommending that residents in low-lying rivers adjacent to the Moon River consider evacuating due to increasing water levels.

READ MORE: Floods to continue for ‘several more days’ as Canadian Armed Forces arrive in Bracebridge

“Our primary concern in doing this is at the safety of our residents,” Harding said, adding that there are a lot properties that have docks and boathouses that are underwater. “That is where we’re going to head first and foremost to protect the citizens of Muskoka Lakes.”

According to Harding, Lake Muskoka could rise as much as eight inches over the next few days, with Moon River potentially rising from 10 to 15 inches.

WATCH: Flooding in Muskoka region leads to lake water lapping up against cottages, homes

Flooding in Muskoka region leads to lake water lapping up against cottages, homes
Flooding in Muskoka region leads to lake water lapping up against cottages, homes
“[For] Lake Rosseau and Lake Joseph, we’re anticipating potentially another two to four inches over the coming days,” Harding said. “The one issue is what happens with rain on Wednesday.”
Story continues below advertisement

The Bala Community Centre has been opened as a registration and inquiry centre, Harding said, and people who need to vacate their homes are asked to check in there so the township can keep track of their whereabouts.

People can contact the registration and inquiry centre at 705-762-1086 or 705-715-8138, according to a press release issued by Muskoka Lakes.

READ MORE: Reality check: Will Ford’s budget cuts affect relief for Ontario’s recent flooding?

People who choose to evacuate that do not have alternate places to stay can contact the Red Cross at at 705-715-8138 and Victim Services to help them find additional accommodation at 1-844-762-9945.

“A number of seasonal residents are very concerned about their properties,” he said. “We’re asking seasonal residents, if you do come up, to be very careful. Generally saying, stay away.”

Muskoka Lakes has advised the District of Muskoka and the province of Ontario of the recently declared state of emergency.

READ MORE: Bracebridge calls in the Canadian Armed Forces in wake of Ontario cottage country floods

Road closures:

  • Ashforth Drive, at 1117 Ashforth Dr.
  • Moon River Road,  from 1168-1185 Moon River Rd.
  • Trafalgar Bay Road, from Moon River Road and Muskoka Road #169
  • Bala Falls Road bridge, from 1024-1028 Bala Falls Rd.
  • Rigeby Road (fully closed)
  • Lionel Avenue, from Foord Road (fully closed)
  • Foord Road (fully closed)

WATCH: Drone footage shows rising water levels as Huntsville deals with ‘most devastating flooding since 2013’

Drone footage shows rising water levels as Huntsville deals with ‘most devastating flooding since 2013’
Drone footage shows rising water levels as Huntsville deals with ‘most devastating flooding since 2013’

Public Works is monitoring road conditions for flooding and making repairs where necessary.

Story continues below advertisement

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has issued a boil water advisory for Muskoka Lakes, Harding said, for people pulling water from lakes, rivers and wells.

“Because of the floodwaters, the potential for contamination on most drinking water sources is great,” he said. “Town water is safe.”

Water-filling stations can be accessed at 1008 Maple Ave. and 1 Bailey St. in Port Carling.

Many people have launched boats to try and take a look at the damage first-hand, the release says, and officials are asking anyone who does this to proceed with extreme caution.

“Floating objects and ice flows can and will cause issues,” the release says. “Additionally, should people be on the lake, please ensure you are aware of the wake created by your boat and minimize the effects this will have on waterfront properties.”

Sand, sandbags and shovels are available at 3951 Muskoka Rd. 169, 1078 Raymond Rd., 3224 Muskoka Rd. 169 and 40 Bailey St. on a fill-your-own basis.

READ MORE: Flood, wet and fears of high water: what Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick look like in a deluge

Harding said after working through the flooding emergency, Muskoka Lakes will be addressing Queen’s Park to fix the Muskoka River Water Management Plan.

Nearby Bracebridge and Huntsville declared states of emergency earlier this week as water levels rose beyond 2013 levels.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH: Neighbours helping each other save their homes from flooding in Bracebridge, Ont.

Neighbours helping each other save their homes from flooding in Bracebridge, Ont.
Neighbours helping each other save their homes from flooding in Bracebridge, Ont.