06/14/2012 12:59 EDT | Updated 08/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Flood victims question handling of high waters

Two separate groups are preparing questions for officials about why the recent flooding was so significant in their area. Public meetings are being held in Kaministiquia and Northwood Thursday night.

Ontario Power Generation is hosting a meeting for property-owners concerned about the management of the upper Kaministiquia River. It's an opportunity to discuss OPG's handling of high water levels after last month's rainstorm.

Mona Portelance, who has owned property along the upper Kam for about 30 years, said she has concerns with the way OPG and the Ministry of Natural Resources are managing the river's flow.

“I've never seen the river as it has been operated, in the last four years, in my life,” Portelance said.

“They've been fluctuating [the water levels on] this river so badly ... it's unbelievable.”

The Forbes River Road resident said her property has been flooded twice since 2008 — something that never happened before.

'Good for everybody to get in one spot'

OPG said the public meeting will allow the company to explain why it sent so much water out of Dog Lake that it caused riverside properties and roads to flood, said Ted Gruetzner, manager of media relations at OPG.

“[We thought it would] be good for everybody to get in one spot,” he said. “We can offer our views, but also … hear what their concerns and what [is] on their mind as well.”

The Ministry of Transportation and the OPP will also be at the meeting.

“There will be OPP there … [be]cause they were involved in …closing the roads,” Gruetzner said. “And the Ministry of Natural Resources will be there … so people can understand who has … jurisdiction [and] how these decisions are made.”

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday and takes place at the Kam Community Centre.

Sewer infrastructure questioned

Also Thursday night, residents in Thunder Bay's Northwood area plan to gather at a ward meeting to demand the city fully investigate sewer infrastructure in that part of town.

Northwood resident Valerie Cameron said flooding is an ongoing problem — even when rains are less severe than last month's storm.

“We're not engineers … we're looking to the professionals to fully investigate the storm and sewers within our area,” Cameron said. “I, myself, have been flooded. This is the second time.”

Cameron said the residents will be meeting with city manager Tim Commisso, representatives from council, as well as city engineers.