Fort Frances officials warn pedestrians stay away from restricted areas. Front Street from Armit to Crowe, and Mosher to Williams is closed to all forms of traffic — no driving, walking, biking, or kayaking.
Emergency management specialist Patrick Briere says these closures are for safety’s sake.
“There is a lot of water. There’s current flowing through that water, and wave action in some areas,” he says. “We just don’t want anybody to get caught in a bad situation.”
Travis Rob, operations and facilities manager says those working to protect the town also need to be considered.
“We have a number of crews working down there on sandbagging, so there’s a lot of equipment moving around,” he says. “It’s just not a place that the public needs to be right now.”
On top of the Front St. closures, Point Park and Seven Oaks are also sealed off to all types of traffic.
“There’s a lot of water running right over land in the park,” says Briere. “It doesn’t look as bad when you’re sitting by the Rendez-Vous, but as you go into the park, all the playground equipment … it’s all fully underwater.”
Briere also warns nearby boaters to be mindful of their potential impact on the mainland.
“They should recognize their boat speed and any wake they may create could cause erosion of land on the shorelines; not just for town but for cabin owners out on the lake as well,” he says.
When asked about the possibility of the railway track in Point Park washing out, the Times was redirected to CN for comment.
The Times sent a list of questions to CN about what preventative measures are being taken, chances of a washout, how it could impact transport, and how long a repair might take, among other questions. CN replied that they are closely monitoring the situation.
Briere says the aforementioned flooded areas will be closed until further notice.
“We’re just monitoring the situation and taking the actions that we deem necessary at this time,” he says. “We’ll continue to do so, and our municipal control group is meeting daily.”
Briere says if extra closures are added, that information will come out through press releases that follow the control group’s meetings.
“It’s imperative that the messaging gets out for the public to stay out of these areas,” he says.