Tuesday , July 27 2021

Brysbridge recommends that some areas evacuate against the background of floods

Officials in Braybridge recommend the evacuation of three areas, against the backdrop of continuing floods.

The city, about 150 km north of Toronto, advises some residents of Springdale Shrines, Holiday Park Drive and Cedar Shores to leave their homes.

The community has announced an emergency on Tuesday after a number of local roads have been washed and emergency service staff go door to door in affected areas on Wednesday advising people to leave.

The nearby Minden Hills also announced an emergency on Wednesday, while dozens of other areas are under surveillance or warnings.

Environment Canada predicts up to 30 millimeters of rain for parts of central Ontario on Friday.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Mayor Graydon Smith told residents not to accept that things would improve in the coming days.

"If you are in an area that has been flooded or flooded before, you should know that this is likely to continue – and that it may get worse," says Smith.

He said the emergency services workers would be agitated in the Springdale Shores area, along the banks of the Mukkoka River, to help the people out there leave their homes.

"We want them to be aware that the situation they are in is not good," he said. "They probably understand this alone, but we know there are a lot of people who would prefer to ride these events in their homes.

Smith joined the press conference with Prime Minister Doug Ford, whose family has a house in the area.

Ford said the province would do its best to support Brysbridge, as well as nearby Huntsville and all other communities in the Muskoka region that are experiencing flooding this spring.

"We will not save funds to help the affected areas," Ford said. "But we are here to watch, not to interfere."

The city of Breybridge has said that the water levels in the Muskoka River in the North Branch are expected to exceed the levels reached in 2013 when the region saw its worst floods in a century.

Southern branch levels were at 2013 levels on Tuesday and were expected to increase in the coming days. It was also expected that the levels of Lake Muskoka will continue to grow, while those on the Black River have already begun to decline.

Smith said the flood emergency was announced to attract people's attention and make it clear that the situation is more than a typical spring thaw.

"It's something beyond normal limits. Unfortunately, we thought 2013 was a 100-year event, and here we are six years later, "said Smith.

He added, however, that the city has learned valuable lessons from the floods of 2013, which he described as a "devastating" event, and said the community was able to frequently send updates to residents.

"I think there was a lot of exercise in the pants in 2013," he said. "This time we saw a slightly more gradual rise in water."

The city advises residents to monitor carefully changing conditions and offers free sandbags to help people protect their properties.

Officials have also set up a stopover at the Bracebridge Memorial Arena for anyone who has been replaced by the flood.

Provincial police have also issued a warning to boats in the Bracebridge area, saying a recent leap of melting water has left many debris floating in local lakes.

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