Evacuated Coastal Communities Returning Home
Flood Risk Lessens In Kashechewan And Fort Albany
The residents of Kashechewan are continuing to return home and those of Fort Albany will start flying back to their community Monday.
The leaders of the two communities have determined that the risk of flooding on the Albany River delta has lessened. Working with First Nations leadership, Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) officials are now busy planning the return home of the more than 1,400 residents of communities that had been evacuated since April 25.
MNR officials are coordinating the flight operations to ensure the quick and safe return of the evacuees. The current plan is for all 861 Kashechewan residents who were airlifted out of their community to return home by Saturday. While in Cochrane, the community grew by two new members, born to mothers who were flown to safety there.
It will take until Monday to make the Fort Albany airstrip ready and fully reopen the store and the medical facility in the community.
MNR and EMO officials are also working closely with the leaders of Attawapiskat, located northwest of Fort Albany and Kashechewan, and are monitoring the ice breakup near that community. As a precaution, 12 residents who were receiving medical care at the local clinic have been airlifted by air ambulance to facilities across northern Ontario.
- 47 Kashechewan residents were flown home from Stratford on April 30, 231 followed them today and 148 were flown from Cochrane.
- 556 residents of Fort Albany have been airlifted out: 227 to Kapuskasing, 123 in Hearst, 106 to Sault Ste. Marie, 91 to Thunder Bay and 9 to medical facilities across the north.
“EMO is working closely with First Nations leaders to ensure that the evacuees can return home as quickly as possible. The province is grateful for the selflessness and dedication of local officials and volunteers from host communities that have come to the aid of their fellow Ontarians.”
“We are dedicated to helping the evacuated families and people return to their communities and loved ones safely. Thanks to the determination, cooperation, and hospitality of everyone involved throughout this evacuation, the communities affected by flooding along the James Bay Coast have remained safe.”