Farms devastated by flooding in Ontario's Holland Marsh area
Published Monday, June 17, 2013 6:16PM EDT
Farmers in one of the most fertile tracks of land in Ontario say the flood damage caused after two dykes ruptured south of Barrie will cost about $1 million.
Valuable farmland in the Holland Marsh area near the town of Bradford West Gwillimbury continues to be inundated with water from Lake Simcoe and the Holland River after a dyke broke last month.
Three farms were flooded and more than 190 acres of onion and carrot crops were ruined.
Farmer Randy Riffert inspected his field from a motorboat, peering at his crop through three metres of water.
“I never thought about driving a boat out here,” he said Monday.
Riffert steered his boat towards part of the dyke that burst over the weekend, destroying more than 200 acres of farmland.
“It’s just devastating. I’m at a loss for words,” he said.
Jamie Reaume, the executive director of the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, said the area hasn’t seen such damage since 1954, when Hurricane Hazel swept through southern Ontario.
Reaume said famers estimate the damage to be around $1 million and it’s too late in the season to recover lost crops.
Earlier this month, Bradford’s town council asked the province’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for assistance under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP).
With a report by CTV’s Austin Delaney
A farm is surrounded by flood waters in Holland Marsh in Bradford, Ont. on Monday, June 17, 2013.