Updated: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 14:37:22 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Ontario cottage country floods hit peak



Ontario cottage country floods hit peak

Weekend floods ravaging Ontario cottage country have mostly hit their peak across the central Ontario communities, but officials are worrying about the extensive damage that will remain.

In central Ontario, seven communities declared states of emergency over the weekend, which have lasted into Monday morning, as floodwaters submerged highways and forced dozens of residents out of their homes.

- Ontario cottage country on high flood alert

- What to do before a flood

Huntsville and Kawartha Lakes appeared to be the hardest hit after the weekend, said CBC's meteorologist Jay Scotland. The good news is that Mother Nature is not adding to that, he said.

Dry weather is expected for the next 48 hours, said Scotland. Tuesday night, cottage country may face another 10 mm of snow.

Concern over repair funds

Mayor Claude Doughty declared a state of emergency for Huntsville on Friday. One local told CBC News the situation was "kind of a disaster," with homes and roads flooded.

Residents who had witnessed previous floods in the area said the weekend's flooding was higher than they had ever seen.

One man stood outside a flood ravaged home. He said he knew the people who built the property in the 1960s.

"They've never had water in the yard like this," he said. "Ever."

The mayor says he hopes the floodwaters crested Sunday night and that the situation will stabilize today. On Sunday, Huntsville issued a flood warning as water levels in the lake continued to rise during the flood's peak.

Doughty said that it will take months, and millions of dollars, to repair the damage to roads in his community.

Kawartha Lakes remained under a state of emergency Monday morning after the weekend's flooding caused seasonal residents to stay away, several homes to be evacuated and 7,000 sandbags to be distributed around the community.

Mayor Ric McGee told CBC News the community is still preparing for more flooding, which is one of his primary concerns.

Another big concern is the recovery phase, which he says will be surmountable.

Flood warnings still in place

The province's Ministry of Natural Resources has also issued flood warnings for parts of northern Ontario, including the areas of North Bay and Parry Sound. In these areas, flooding is either imminent or already occurring.

However, according to the ministry, the areas most impacted by flooding and high water may only receive another five to 10 mm of additional precipitation based on weather forecasts for Sunday to Thursday.

Ontario Minister of Community Safety Madeleine Meilleur says that while the situation has stabilized in some areas, water levels are still expected to rise in others.

The minister says she's spoken to a number of mayors of communities affected by the flooding and offered government support.

With files from the Canadian Press

External Links

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Current flood messages
Environment Canada weather

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