Thursday, November 27, 2014

Waters slowly going down

Despite some recent precipitation, the water levels on Rainy Lake and the upper Rainy River slowly but surely are going down.
And the weather forecast shows smooth sailing until the end of the week.

During a meeting of the Municipal Emergency Control Group this morning, Patrick Briere, public information officer for the Town of Fort Frances, noted that beyond showers today, the rest of the week is supposed to be clear until Saturday or Sunday.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said the upper river peaked on June 28 and has been going down ever since.
Since the group’s meeting last Wednesday, the upper river has dropped 138 mm (5.4 inches).
The lake, meanwhile, has dropped 81 mm (3.2 inches) since that time.
Brown noted the International Joint Commission is estimating a decline in the lake of 7.5-12.5 cm (three-five inches) this week.
But he added the lake level still is 34 inches higher than the upper limit of the IJC rule curve—and has a long way to go.
Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig said the town should start considering when it will remove the sandbags along the riverfront.
He added he doesn’t feel the community will express the same urgency to take down the sandbags as they did to put them in place.
Thus, he said it would be wise for the town to use student workers to do this task.
That said, McCaig conceded he can’t see sandbags being taken down—and the state of emergency lifted—before month’s end.
Brown noted no one can predict the weather, but he would like to wait until the lake level has stabilized within its normal rule curve for this time of year.
“I guess if we close to it, like within five inches of the upper limit, then we can start tearing down,” Brown said, though adding the weather has been highly unpredictable and it seems this area is prone to torrential downpours.
In related news, George Armstrong Co. Ltd. will finish hauling rock to Seven Oaks today.
Over the past two weeks, the contractor has hauled 438 loads of rock, equalling about 7,000 tonnes.
But motor vehicle traffic will continue to be closed off at Calder Drive until the road can be fixed.
The Municipal Emergency Control Group won’t meet again until next Monday (July 21).

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