Media Release - Muskoka Lakes Flood Emergency Update #11

Media Release
For Immediate Release

May 13, 2019 | 11:30 a.m.

Muskoka Lakes Flood Emergency Update #11

MUSKOKA LAKES – The Township of Muskoka Lakes is advising residents that since May 3, 2019 water levels have decreased approximately 60cm (24 inches) on the Moon River, 45cm (18 inches) on Lake Muskoka, and 12cm (5 inches) on Lake Joseph and Rosseau. The township is still under a declaration of emergency and will be until further notice.

As water levels continue to recede, the township will prepare for the recovery phase of this emergency. Township staff will continue to communicate all flood recovery information by means of media releases to radio stations and local newspapers, social media and the municipal website.

The Province of Ontario has notified township officials that it will activate Disaster Recovery Assistance for residents of Muskoka Lakes. More information regarding program guidelines and application forms will be available soon. When activated by the province, the Disaster Recovery Program helps cover emergency expenses and costs to repair or replace essential property for individuals (primary residence), small owner-operated businesses and farms, and not-for-profit organizations. Residents are encouraged to contact your insurance provider to determine level of coverage. It is best practice to photograph all damage throughout the emergency, and record/keep all receipts related to damage and clean up. 

Navigation restrictions remain in affect by Transport Canada for Lake Muskoka, Moon River, and North and South Muskoka River. Navigation by non-emergency vessels is strictly prohibited. Individuals who can only access their property by boat are exempted from the Interim Order and other restrictions for the purpose of going to and from their property. Property managers and contractors are exempted from the Interim Order for the purpose of going to and from property on behalf of property owners. If citizens must use a waterway to access a property, they are urged to navigate at as slow a speed as possible.

Officials are asking anyone who is out on the lakes to utilize extreme caution. Floating objects and ice flows can and will cause issues. Additionally, should people be on a lake that is not under a navigation restriction, please ensure you are aware of the wake created by your boat and minimize the effects this will have on waterfront properties. Best practice – slow no wake.

Township officials are encouraging residents and contractors to help collect floating debris in the water. Any large items that are floating or rested on shore/property, please attempt to secure, if safe, and contact the Township office at 705-765-3156 for help removing.

Township officials are recommending all sand bags be kept in place until water levels recede and risk of flooding has ended. Sand bag drop off depots will be available at the Glen Orchard Yard (3951 Muskoka Road 169), Patterson Yard (1078 Raymond Road) and Ranwood Yard (1158 Ranwood Road) during the recovery phase. Any resident in need of support for the removal of sand bags, please call the township office at 705-765-3156 for assistance.  

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is advising residents that sandbags from flooded areas may have been in contact with unsafe water. Treat used sandbags as municipal waste and wear appropriate protection such as gloves and eye wear to reduce your risk of exposure to bacteria, chemicals or other hazards that could be present on or in used sandbags.

Additional Information: 

  • Residents are advised that properties in flooded areas using well or lake/river water should assume the water is not potable. Municipal water sources are not affected. Water testing kits are available for pick up at the municipal office.  
  • The Township has received a donation of water to assist will those affected by the Drinking Water Advisory for the District of Muskoka. Water is available for pick up at the Trinity All Saints Church, located at 1024 Bala Falls Road, Bala from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. until further notice. For more information, please contact, 705-641-8787.
  • In order to assist businesses impacted by flooding, Muskoka Futures has launched a Flood Recovery Loan program.  This assistance will provide up to $25,000 at 0% interest for 2 years for businesses impacted by flooding. Funds are available to assist businesses with deductibles, inventory, infrastructure, equipment and operating costs, or other costs identified by businesses. For all program details and applications, please visit muskokafutures.ca.
  • Navigation restrictions have been issued by Transport Canada for Lake Muskoka, Moon River, and North and South Muskoka River. Navigation by non-emergency vessels is strictly prohibited. Individuals who can only access their property by boat are exempted from the Interim Order and other restrictions for the purpose of going to and from their property. Property managers and contractors are exempted from the Interim Order for the purpose of going to and from property on behalf of property owners. If citizens must use a waterway to access a property, they are urged to navigate at as slow a speed as possible.
  • In addition to marine patrols in these areas by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Bracebridge and Huntsville Detachments, members from the OPP Central Region SAVE (Snowmobile, ATV and Vessel Enforcement) Team will be assisting in monitoring the area. Failing to abide by this order could result in fines of up to $5000. To read the full News Release from Transport Canada, click here.
  • The District of Muskoka has closed the Port Carling Locks until further notice.
  • Individuals displaced by flooding that require assistance with emergency accommodation can contact the Red Cross Personal Support Assistance Number at 705-715-8138.
  • There are a number of associated road closures with this announcement and for a complete list please visit the Township of Muskoka Lakes 2019 Flood Information Page.
  • Roadways marked as closed are not to be passed as the integrity and safety of the road cannot be guaranteed and may pose a hazard.
  • Seasonal residents wishing to check on their properties are encouraged to wait until the flooding emergency has ended to visit their property. Seasonal roads and access to those roads may be compromised by flooding, and our goal is to ensure the safety of all residents both permanent and seasonal.
  • The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has issued a Drinking Water Advisory for the District of Muskoka. Residents are advised that properties in flooded areas using well or lake/river water should assume the water is not potable. Municipal water sources are not affected.
  • Water filling stations can be accessed at the Bala Community Centre (1008 Maple Avenue) and the Township Municipal Office (1 Bailey Street, Port Carling).

Sand bags are to be used to protect homes and accommodations only. The Township has made sand, sandbags and shovels available at the Glen Orchard Yard (3951 Muskoka Road 169), Patterson Yard (1078 Raymond Road), Bala Sports Park (3224 Muskoka Road 169), and Hanna Park (40 Bailey St) on a fill your own basis.

Township staff will continue to communicate all information by means of media releases to radio stations and local newspapers, social media and municipal website.

For more information on flooding, visit the Township of Muskoka Lakes 2019 Flood Information page on the Township website.

For Municipal Emergency contact after hours call: 1-705-765-3156

For Emergency Services call: 911

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For additional Information, please contact:
Harry Baranik
Deputy Fire Chief/Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC)
705-765-3156
hbaranik@muskokalakes.ca

Monday, May 13, 2019
w3cP.O. Box 129, 1 Bailey St., Port Carling, Ontario, P0B 1J0  Phone:(705)765-3156  Fax:(705)765-6755
Municipal Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)