For the second straight day, residents from First Nations communities in Northern Ontario are being relocated as rising water and extensive flooding continues to threaten those living near James Bay.
Emergency Management Ontario said 144 of the “most vulnerable residents” of Attawapiskat First Nation will make the trip to Thunder Bay, Ont., and planning is underway to move another 200 to other locations as a spring thaw sends river levels higher.
EMO said 84 people whose homes were affected by sewer backups are also going to be airlifted to Fort Frances, 215 kilometres south of Kenora, Ont.
Pic Mobert First Nation, which sits north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., will have 14 of its residents evacuated to Greenstone, Ont., east of Thunder Bay, due to flooding.
Meanwhile, EMO said 256 people previously removed from the James Bay coastal community of Kashechewan First Nation will not return until their homes are cleared and checked for flooding and sewer damage.
In all, 10 Ontario communities have declared emergencies due to weather conditions, while another four have the same status as they act as hosts for people forced out of their homes.