State of emergency in Minden Hills
For the third time in six years, the Township of Minden Hills has declared a state of emergency as the Gull RIver floods.
"Weather and above-normal snow-pack has led to rising water levels, that we've experienced and seen of over 35 centimetres in the last four days," Mayor Brent Devolin said, as he declared the state of emergency on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 24.
Declaring a state of emergency allows municipalities to access aid from upper levels of government.
"The potential exists to reach 2017 levels," Devolin added. Minden Hills entered states of emergency in the springs of 2017 and 2013, respectively, with the water from the 2013 flood leaving portions of the village of Minden underwater for three weeks.
The township's emergency operations committee first convened on the morning of April 23.
“We will be meeting daily,” Devolin told the paper. “We're expecting levels to continue to rise for the next 48 hours.”
The Township of Minden Hills has closed McKnight Drive, Anson Street, Orde Street, Invergordon Avenue, St. Germaine Street, Spring Valley Road, Ritchie Falls Road, Hospitality Road, Mark Twain Road, and Milburn Road to all but local residential traffic, and the Salerno Lake Road bridge had been closed to all traffic.
“We would ask people who don't live in those areas to respect that,” Devolin said, adding it was possible that bylaw staff or the OPP would be called on non-residential traffic.
There are washouts in some areas.
Portions of the Minden Riverwalk, as well as the boardwalk, and sections of Anson Street and Invergordon Avenue were submerged on Tuesday morning, and township work crews used machinery to dislodge a tree from under the Sunnybrook Bridge in downtown Minden.
Sandbags are available at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena, the sand dome at 4564 County Road 121 near Kinmount, and at Furnace Falls Park off County Road 503. Residents can find updated flood information on the township's website at www.mindenhills.ca or by calling the township office at 705-286-1260, ext. 211, or asking for Paula Stamp. After hours, call 1-866-856-3247. Devolin said residents who live in areas of historical flooding will receive door-to-door visits from township staff.
Local politicians continue to have daily conference calls with reps from Parks Canada, which operates the Trent Severn Waterway, and the MNRF, the provincial flood advisory body. The water from more than 25 reservoir and flow-through lakes in Haliburton that are part of the feeder system for the TSW flows through the channel of the Gull River through downtown Minden. Parks Canada announced Tuesday it was increasing outflows out of Horseshoe Lake, north of Minden.