Water levels continue to rise in flood-prone areas of Huntsville
Heavy rains and flooding have led two cottage country communities in central Ontario to declare a state of emergency.
In the town of Huntsville, a three and a half metre sinkhole has opened up on Hwy. 11 after 50 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours. Extreme weather has also led to “massive” destruction of municipal infrastructure.
“All resources have been deployed and we continue to monitor the situation,” Kelly Pender, the town’s chief administrative officer said in a news release on Friday.
According to officials, water levels continue to rise in flood-prone areas, including downtown Huntsville and the Big East River flood zone. The water is expected to rise over the next 24 hours.
Resident Lorne Marshall said it is too risky to stay the night at his house by the river. “I think we’re going to have to move the wife and the kids out of the house and go to a motel,” Marshall told CTV News.
Power has been shut off for safety reasons in many of the affected areas and a number of roads in the area have been closed.
Nearby, in the town of Bracebridge, residents near the north and south branches of the Muskoka and Black Rivers have been advised to evacuate their homes.
Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith said no one has been injured so far, but there are concerns of flash flooding if the Muskoka River doesn’t recede.
“Everyone’s got heat, hydro, phone, internet so they’re staying in contact,” Smith said.
The Bracebridge Sportsplex and Oakley Village Square are open for use as a temporary shelters.
Residents are being reminded to stay clear of open water, creeks and rivers.
“… localized flooding is being experienced in low lying areas,” a statement from Bracebridge’s website reads. “There have been a number of culvert and road washouts.”
With a report from CTV’s John Musselman and with files from The Canadian Press