With dismay, I read last Wednesday’s article on modifying the rule curve in order to mitigate flooding on Rainy Lake.
It concerns me that, again, the primary focus appears to be protecting the property on the lake itself, with little regard for the impact these actions have on the communities downriver from Fort Frances.
For three of the last five years, residents of Crozier, La Vallee, Emo, Chapple, Stratton, Pinewood, and Rainy River—not to mention our American neighbours—have endured property damage and bank erosion, as well as significant inconvenience, difficulty, and cost, because of high water levels on the Rainy River.
The reason? It would appear to be so that Rainy Lake could to stay as close to being “in the curve” as possible, as determined by the International Rainy Lake Board of Control and the International Rainy River Water Pollution Board.
This year alone, Emo residents were unable to use the boat launch or dock on Front Street for more than a month because of high water conditions. The park in Rainy River suffered damage—again—because of the water levels.
Debris floating down the river in May and June created a significant hazard and damage to boats and motors from one end of the river to the other.
We are all residents of Rainy River District, and the condition and levels of our boundary waters affect everyone. One community’s well-being should not be allowed to impact on so many others, as the current system appears to allow for.
No one in the rest of the district would wish for the homeowners on Rainy Lake to suffer the damage and inconvenience of recent years. But the system, as it currently exists, is untenable—and disadvantages those communities that don’t have control over the flow of water into the Rainy River.