Area still reeling after storms

Devlin has been a hubbub of activity yesterday and today as residents there literrally pick up the pieces after yesterday’s storm.
As pieces of barns and houses dot fields north and south of the community residents, volunteers, contractors, hydro crews and CN Rail crews had converged on the area to repair the damage.
Many people from Fort Frances and other nearby communities are also converging in Devlin to take a look at the extent of the damage.
“It put the rafters off the barn right through the tractor’s windows both ways,” noted resident Wallace Hughes as he stood, surrounded by boards, farm equipment, tree limbs, glass and sheet metal in his back yard, just south of Devlin.
“She can do a lot of damage in a short time,” he added indicating a concrete block, about three feet wide and three feet high, which the wind had moved and turned around.
In Fort Frances, Raymond Roy, the superintendent of operations for the town’s public works department, hasn’t had the time to count how many basements have been flooded.
“There’s at least 50, at least that many,” he said.
Meanwhile, many area highways remain closed after the storms earlier this week.
Tuesday’s heavy rains wreaked havoc on area highways, resulting in a number of road closures due to washouts, the Ministry of Transportation advised yesterday.
While Highway 502, which runs between Fort Frances and Dryden, has now been re-opened to two lanes, Highway 621 and Flanders Road will likely remain closed for a week or more.
Highway 71 between Emo and Nestor Falls remained closed this morning but may be re-opened to one lane late this afternoon, OPP reported today.
Highways 600, 613, 615, 617, and 619 also remain closed at this time.
In addition, Fort Frances MNR issued a public safety advisory yesterday, warning travelers to exercise caution while driving on resource access roads in the area. Many of these roads have been abandoned or may not receive regular maintenance, the advisory stated, and the possibility of flooding and road washouts presents and increased risk to travelers.
The MNR advised drivers to avoid travel on unfamiliar roads and to drive at reduced speeds even on known routes.
The OPP are asking the public not to call the OPP Communications centre for road information, as this ties up phone lines and prevents emergency calls from getting through.