Province Coordinating Evacuation of Coastal Communities
Kashechewan And Fort Albany Residents Being Airlifted To Safety
TORONTO, April 26 –
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) are working with First Nations, other provincial ministries and the federal government to coordinate the evacuation of Kashechewan and Fort Albany on the James Bay Coast. Rapidly rising waters and large blocks of ice on the Albany River have caused damages to protective dykes in Fort Albany and significantly increased the risk of flooding in that community and nearby Kashechewan.
MNR (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/index.html) officials are working with the Department of National Defence to coordinate today’s planned airlift of nearly 1900 residents of Kashechewan and Fort Albany. More than 250 people for Kashechewan were evacuated to Cochrane yesterday.
Helicopters, military transport and charter aircraft are ferrying residents from the two coastal First Nations to host communities across the province. These communities include: Kapuskasing, Greenstone, Hearst, Sault Ste. Marie, Elliot Lake and North Bay in northern Ontario and in Perth County communities: Stratford, St. Marys, Perth East and Mitchell.
(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 department representatives and First Nations community leaders 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
“We’re working with our federal counterparts to ensure their 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).
– More than a dozen aircraft are currently involved in the airlift operations.
– EMO has deployed three field officers in the coastal communities and three more in municipalities receiving evacuees.
Current state of flooding throughout the
Prepare for possible flooding.(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/EmergencyManagement/2ColumnSubPage/240053.html)
How to put together an emergency survival kit.(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/pub_security/emo/esk.html)
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For further information: Laura Blondeau, Minister’s Office, (416) 325-4973; Patrice Cloutier, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9195
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