First Stage of Evacuation of Coastal Communities Completed
Weather Improves - Airlift of Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Attawapiskat Resumes
Weather along the James Bay coast improved today, allowing the evacuation of vulnerable residents of Kashechewan and Fort Albany to resume. More than 730 people will have been evacuated from the two communities by Sunday evening. The first of the most vulnerable residents of Attawapiskat have also been evacuated.
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), other provincial ministries and federal government officials continue to work with First Nations officials who are responsible for the well-being of their communities and support them to ensure public safety.
MNR officials are coordinating the air evacuation with the Department of National Defence. Planning is underway to evacuate a further 1,100 people from Kashechewan to Perth County municipalities including: Stratford, East Perth and St. Marys. That airlift will begin tomorrow morning.
EMO's Provincial Emergency Operations Centre is coordinating the response from provincial ministries and is in ongoing contact with federal department representatives and First Nations community leaders along the James Bay Coast. EMO coordinates emergency management operations in First Nations communities on behalf of the federal government.
- 415 vulnerable Kashechewan residents have been evacuated: 226 are in Cochrane, 144 in Greenstone (Geraldton) and 45 in Sudbury.
- 333 residents from Fort Albany have been evacuated: 227 are in Kapuskasing, 39 are in Hearst, 51 are staying overnight in Moosonee before going to Hearst tomorrow and 16 others were evacuated by air ambulance to areas across northeastern Ontario.
- 23 patients from the Attawapiskat clinic have been evacuated as a precaution and at the request of community leaders to institutions in northeastern Ontario and in Winnipeg.
“The partners involved, including the First Nations communities, are working together to make this evacuation as efficient as possible. The safety and well-being of the residents from these coastal communities is our first priority and concern and the planning is done jointly with community leaders.”
“My ministry is working around the clock to ensure the safe evacuation of communities along the James Bay coast. The aviation service of the Ministry of Natural Resources, together with its partners, has helped the people and families of these communities remain safe.”