Saturday, August 02, 2014
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Flooding Evacuation Escalates for Kashechewan First Nation

am980.ca

Natalie Lovie

Flooding from the Albany River is prompting the evacuation of an entire First Nations community in northern Ontario.

Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is aiming to have all 2,000 residents moved out in the next day or so.

On Saturday night, officials began flying hundreds of people out to Thunder Bay, and the municipality of Greenstone. Thunder Bay emergency officials were bracing for around 600 evacuees to arrive by late Sunday evening.

As the flooding is expected to worsen, the remaining residents will be flown out Monday.

Initially, the evacuation was at Stage 1, which only requires seniors, children and people with medical issues to leave. By Sunday, it was upgraded to Stage 2 by the First Nation and Emergency Management Ontario.

There are fears the rising waters could compromise the airport in Kashechewan, further limiting when people can leave. The community is only accessible by plane.

Unfortunately, these evacuations have become somewhat of a spring tradition for the First Nation community. Thunder Bay housed about 150 evacuees last year due to flooding.

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