Province Assists with Kashechewan Evacuation
EMO And MNR Coordinating Provincial Response To Expected Flooding
TORONTO, April 25 –
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) are working with the Kashechewan First Nation, other provincial ministries and the federal government to coordinate the evacuation of the most vulnerable residents of Kashechewan on the James Bay Coast. Concern is growing over the rapidly rising waters and the break up of the ice cover on the Albany River that could threaten Kashechewan and nearby Fort Albany at any time in the next few days.
MNR (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/index.html) officials are coordinating the evacuation of Kashechewan residents who are most at-risk: the sick, the elderly, persons with disabilities or special needs and infants and their immediate family and caretakers. In total, nearly 600 people are expected to be flown to Cochrane, Greenstone and Sault Ste. Marie, today and tomorrow.
If rising waters threaten the integrity of the dike that surrounds Kashechewan, plans will be implemented to evacuate the entire community. MNR and local officials will continue to monitor the state of ice break up on other rivers flowing into James Bay and Hudson Bay. Particular attention is being paid to the First Nations communities of Moose Factory, Fort Albany and Attawapiskat, as well as the municipality of Moosonee.
(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/pub_security/emo/about_emo.html) Provincial Emergency Operations Centre is coordinating the response from provincial ministries and is in ongoing contact with federal departments and First Nations communities along the James Bay Coast. EMO coordinates emergency management operations in First Nations communities on behalf of the federal government.
“Our first priority is the safety of the people of Kashechewan and other James Bay communities,” said Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci (http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about_min/bio.html). “We’re working with our federal counterparts to ensure the evacuees’ well-being.”
“My ministry is fully committed to the evacuation efforts underway in northern communities experiencing these current flood conditions,” said Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/About/2ColumnSubPage/226953.html).
Current state of flooding throughout the province (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/EmergencyManagement/2ColumnSubPage/23949
Prepare for possible flooding (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/EmergencyManagement/2ColumnSubPage/24005
How to put together an emergency survival kit (http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/pub_security/emo/esk.html).
For further information: Laura Blondeau, Minister’s Office, (416) 325-4973; Patrice Cloutier, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9195