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Flood Damages - Extent Increases, October 28
Written by Brenda Grundt   
Sunday, 28 October 2012 09:30


Yesterday afternoon, elders, children and mothers were evacuated from Michipicoten First Nation (MFN). Wilderness Helicopters provided the airlift, and the Red Cross - Wawa and Municipal Staff provided evacuees with registration, and lodging and food respectively.


Damage from the 133 milimetres of rain fell in a 24 hour period continues to be revealed. That is about 4.5 inches that rain. If you can imagine filling a plastic pool with 4.5 inches of water than break the pool, allowing all the water to flood out - that is what fell here in a 24 hour period. The rain fell everywhere, creating rivers where little creeks were, channelling into small creeks, into the Magpie or Michpicoten River systems, and then into Lake Superior! It was just rain, but the overall accumulation has overwhelmed Wawa's storm sewers, streets, creeks, rivers and lakes. Even the beaches on Wawa Lake have shrunk, Wawa Lake has risen at least 6 inches from the runoff.


The creek behind the homes on Government Road overflowed it's banks and created a new course for a time, underneath the cantelievered section of the Lady Dunn Health Centre. There water was at least 23" deep at one time. There are a number of houses that have had their yards soaked and some even shortened by the raging waters.


The washout at Catfish Creek has been repaired, but the washouts at Northern Lights Ford and the Northern Lights Motel will need extensive repairs. Municipal Infrastructure staff have been working extensively on the Tremblay Flats Road to open it. They have also been working on the Harbour Road. There are a number of washouts at Sandy Beach, and just up the hill, Capellini's Corner has been severely damaged.


In a large miracle, Deb and Jim Sanders at Michipicoten Harbour escaped serious harm when Brient Creek overflowed and went down the rail bed into Michpicoten Harbour. There it decided to take a sharp turn flowing down to Lake Superior, taking part of their house and their two vehicles with it. There are six washouts on the Harbour Road and two on the Michpicoten First Nation road. There is a huge washout on the Rail Bed between Hwy 17 (Tremblay Flats) and the reserve. That washout is so extensive that it may be impossible to repair. 


Carol Hughes did have the opportunity to speak to the evacuees from Michpicoten First Nation, and Chris Buckell, son of Chief Joe Buckell who has been travelling out of country. He has just arrived back into Canada.


Dubreuilville has also had some problems, there is a large washout on the Industrial Road north of the town, and some hunters are stranded on the other side. They have also been having phone problems, there is no outside phone service at this time.   Hawk Junction has also experienced some flooding, the parking lot for the Train Station and roadway between the Big Bear looks like a small lake. Apparently someone has driven the road from Hawk Junction to Goudreau, so that road may now be passible. Employees at Wesdome are also stranded at this time.


South of Wawa, at Henry Lake and Salter Lake, Highway 17 has been washed out. This damage is extensive as well, with the roadway looking like an earthquake hit. There has been flooding down as far as Mijin Lake.


It has been amazing that in all the extensive damage, there has been only property damage, and no loss of life. The generosity of people donating to the GoFundMe page set up by Allan Bjornaa in the name of Deb and Jim Sanders is remarkable and heart warming. (http://www.gofundme.com/1etilk?pc=fb_cr)


There is no precipitation in the forecast today. However, there are some concerns that Hurricane Sandy may cause some stormy weather here.  

View Wawa Flooding 2012 in a larger map

A Google Map has been set up with locations and photographs showing the extent of damage. 


A photo gallery of aerial images from the Municipality of Wawa is below. These photographs show the incredible damage that Wawa has experienced from that rain. These images are also available on the Wawa-news facebook page.

View this photo set on Flickr




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