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City on High Alert as Flood Warning is Issued

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THUNDER BAY, ON  ----- May 20, 2013 ----–  The City’s Emergency Operations Control (EOC) Group convened at 4 pm today Neebing River Bike Trailto discuss the status of the City’s rivers, creeks and infrastructure following heavy rainfall over the last 24 hours.

Lakehead Region Conservation Authority has issued a flood warning due to rising water levels in area waterways, with approximately 50 to 60 mm of precipitation recorded. The potential for up to another 70 mm of additional rain is forecasted overnight.

“We are on high alert and monitoring the situation very closely,” said Darrell Matson, General Manager of Infrastructure & Operations. “Although area rivers and creeks are high, our Municipal infrastructure system, including the Atlantic Avenue Water Pollution Control Plant, is performing to our expectations. However, the public can expect to see an increased presence of crews throughout the City.”

Roads in and around the City are experiencing ponding and flooding.  Any roads covered with water should be avoided – seek alternate routes.

The following road closures are in effect: Arundel Street near Toledo Street, and Melbourne Road near Hazelwood Drive intersection, Chippewa Road at the City Road intersection and at the Chippewa Park Wildlife Exhibit.
Sandy Beach residents will be notified by Police. The recreation trail under the Edward Street Bridge is also closed.

All City waterways are being closely monitored.

“We are strongly advising residents to use extreme caution when travelling throughout the City and area, as water levels have risen quickly and will get worse if heavy rainfall happens overnight,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs.
“Public safety is our top priority. We are motorists and pedestrians to take extra care if you are on the roads and trails, and please take extra care with children when outdoors.”

A command structure, led by Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, includes the City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Police, Superior North EMS, tbaytel, Canadian Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, North West Local Health Integration Network, the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board, and Thunder Bay Hydro.

Fort William First Nation has declared a state of emergency following the heavy rainfall with affected families beginning to be evacuated. The EOC is working closely with the community.

Further updates will be issued at 9 am tomorrow, following an EOC meeting.

Important contact numbers:
Thunder Bay Hydro – 343-1111 or after hours 343-1002 – for electrical problems or concerns Infrastructure & Operations – 625-2195 – to report flooding or for questions or concerns about City roads and other City infrastructure Ministry of Transportation – 511 – for information about provincially-owned highways
911 should only be called if there is an emergency


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