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Flood Update

Posted on Friday May 10, 2019

For Immediate Release - May 10, 2019

 

The City has received a number of enquiries regarding its decision to declare a State of Emergency. The following update is intended to answer some of those questions and keep residents informed on current conditions.

Declaring a State of Emergency allows municipalities the ability to act quickly when there is a threat to public safety or property.  On May 9, 2019 the City declared a State of Emergency for Temiskaming Shores for two main reasons;

  1. Prevailing Easterly/South East winds were pushing ice off of Lake Temiskaming which had the potential to damage infrastructure along the shoreline. This included public docks/marinas, the STATO Trail, retaining walls & structures and storm water outlets (culverts that empty into Lake Temiskaming). There was also a possibility, if the winds were strong enough, that the ice could be pushed up onto Lakeshore Road between Haileybury and New Liskeard.
  2. A continued increase in the water level of Lake Temiskaming had the potential to threaten critical infrastructure such as the Whitewood Sewage Lift Station (beside Riverside Place) and the Montgomery Sewage Lift Station (at the bottom of Montgomery Street).

Although the City declared a State of Emergency, there was no immediate threat to residents or homes.

The power generating dams and control dams along the Ottawa River and Montreal River watersheds are at capacity and have been opened up.  All of these waters flow into Lake Temiskaming and eventually down the Ottawa River.  The Lake is currently at its maximum capacity.  We have been advised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Public Works Canada that water levels on the Lake are expected to rise another half metre (approx. 1 ½ feet) by Sunday (May 12, 2019). Heavy rains and/or melting “snow pack” in the bush could impact this estimate.

Fortunately the wind was not as strong as anticipated and it changed overnight. As of Friday, May 10, 2019 a prevailing North/North West wind has removed the immediate threat of further damage.  However, the amount of ice still on Lake Temiskaming, coupled with the high water level, is of concern and is being monitored by City staff.

The water level needs to rise another metre (approx. 3 feet) before impacting any municipal infrastructure and homes situated in low-lying areas.  The area of greatest concern, based on land elevations, is the Spurline in New Liskeard (including the lower end of Beach Boulevard, Melville Street and Montgomery Street). The City continues to receive updates from Public Works Canada (who operate the Control Dam at South Temiskaming) on anticipated water levels and their efforts to minimize the impact.

Based on current information, water from Lake Temiskaming may breach the shoreline in the Spurline area by Sunday, however, we do not anticipate any threat to homes or municipal infrastructure.  Fleming Drive, the Boardwalk and the STATO trail will remain closed until further notice. Residents are also requested to keep their distance from this area and the shoreline.

In the event the situation changes the City plans to install a berm along the shoreline area (Fleming Drive) to protect homes in the Montgomery/Melville Street areas and the sewage lift stations. The City is also monitoring and patrolling areas of concern on a 24 hour basis and has staff available to respond quickly if and when required.

Many residents have asked if the City will be providing sandbags. At this time, the City is not providing sandbags to residents.  We do have sandbags available, if and when required, and will coordinate efforts with residents in the areas of highest risk to minimize the impact of potential flooding.

For the most current information, please visit www.temiskamingshores.ca/emergency