Saturday, August 30, 2014

Campbell raises flood concerns

As Sioux Lookout deals with new flooding issues following Monday’s downpours, and the Fort Frances area braces for more rain, local MPP Sarah Campbell looked to the premier and several ministries for updates on government efforts to assist flooded Northwestern Ontario communities.
“I have been in contact with the premier’s office, and the ministries of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Community Safety and Correctional Services,” noted Campbell.

“They have told me that the Ministry of Natural Resources is monitoring the situation and that the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, which is a part of Emergency Management Ontario, is co-ordinating communication and local response in the worst-hit areas.
“The Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Ontario has also informed me that they are sending a field officer in to monitor and address the situation, and it is my understanding that this officer is now on his way,” she added.
While acknowledging there may be room for improvement in Ontario’s disaster relief response, Campbell said now is the time to continue carefully watching the situation and dealing with the most immediate threats.
“Later, when the waters have subsided, we will be able to assess the damage and seek funding to deal with financial loss,” she reasoned.
Campbell said she has been monitoring the situation through local residents and community leaders in Fort Frances and Rainy River.
“Thus far, what I have been hearing is that the situation is very serious but still under control,” she noted.
“Should this change, it will be up to community leaders to notify the provincial government that they are unable to cope with damage to infrastructure or provide basic public services for an extended period of time.
“This is when a request for military assistance could be made [but] I certainly hope it does not come to this,” Campbell added.

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