Rain welcome, but more needed

The sky was darkening as I headed out the door Monday morning to have my first haircut in over six months. I doubted that I would be seeing any rain. It was not expected, having waited for two months to see some rain. Storms and rain have dodged around us for a long time. We have been part of the western Canada drought.

As I approached the Den, several people were outside looking up to the sky. One had their cell phone tracking the radar picture. There was giddiness and excitement in their voices. Rain was finally coming.

Twenty minutes and a hair cut later I looked out from the counter and the tire indented grooves in the roadway were filled with water. Rivers of rain were washing down the curb creating whirlpools of water in the storm sewer basins. Flashes of lightning could be seen in the darkened sky. Rumbles of thunder rolled across the community. Rain was welcomed; thunder and lightning are not wanted in our dryness.

As the rain abated, the winds picked up breaking the windless heat filled days that we have been experiencing.

Hay has become an expensive commodity across the district. The rain is too late to salvage the first crop, and much more is needed to make the second cut worth harvesting. The shortage is forcing many to make tough decisions. I am told that many of the cattle farmers have already decided to reduce their herd size, selling off many animals.

The watershed has been starved for water. Rainy Lake and Lake of the woods are below minimum IJC water levels and the amount of water flowing into Rainy River is at a bare minimum.

Good news arrived at noon on Monday as the Canadian government announced new rules for fully documented, vaccinated American travellers to cross the border into Canada. It may help salvage some tourist camp business. As the cabinet minister explained, many families will finally be reunited. It is good news. Canadians passed the US rates for citizens receiving their first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Tournament begins again on Thursday. The stock car races are again on. The Emo and District Fall Fair will again take place in August.

As we gain some normalcy, we still must be vigilant and encourage everyone to become vaccinated and continue wearing face masks and practice social distancing,

Jim Cumming
Former publisher
Fort Frances Times