After living on McKnight Street in Minden for 30 years, Keith Hardy is used to spring flooding.
The road that runs between Anson Street and Bobcaygeon Road is closed as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has changed conditions on the Gull River to a flood warning, from a flood watch.
Yesterday, a state of emergency was declared.
Hardy got his tin boat out on Monday in case he couldn’t drive because of the rising waters surrounding his property. He also moved items from outside sheds offsite of the property
“It’s just very disappointing,” an admittedly exhausted Hardy said with a sigh. “But we knew it was going to come.”
The township called a press conference yesterday.
“We encourage residents to take necessary precautions to protect personal safety and property,” Mayor Brent Devolin said. “In the event of an emergency call 911.”
The township said the outflow of water on Horseshoe Lake, through the Gull River, will continue to increase until Friday afternoon.
River levels are expected to increase a further 13cm, approaching 2017 water levels.
“Water levels will continue to rise due to snow melt in the upper reaches of the Gull River watershed, and will remain high, as water is being moved down through reservoir lakes upstream of Minden; which are reaching capacity,” the township said.
Water is flooding low lying areas along McKnight, Invergordon, Prince, Anson, St. Germaine Street, Orde Street, Hospitality Road, Spring Valley Road, Ritchie Falls Road, Mark Twain Road, Salerno Lake Road Bridge, Conway Road and Jacob’s Lane. While the Irondale and Burnt Rivers crested over the Easter weekend, the Gull River was placed into warning, from watch, about noon Tuesday.
Devolin said the emergency operations centre in Minden had also been convened as of April 23 and is meeting daily.
In addition, he said they are continuing with their daily conference calls with the Trent Severn Waterway, Parks Canada, the MNRF, and other jurisdictions within the watershed.
“Obviously, we’re being diligent,” Devolin told the press on Tuesday.
He added that people should look for updates on mindenhills.ca. Further, he said sand and bags are available at Furnace Falls, the Kinmount roads shed and the lower arena parking lot.
The township is also sandbagging for the public.
People can call 705-286-1260 ext 211 during business hours and 1-866-856-3427 outside of business hours.
Devolin said his message to the public is “just for people to be diligent. Take it to the next level. As you can see by some of our actions with local road closures and staking those roads that are water covered, we’re already keeping ahead of the curve.”
He asked drivers to use caution when accessing local roads to get to their homes and asked people who don’t live in those areas to stay away.
“Stay out of the water. Don’t be playing hot rod. We don’t need that kind of activity adding agitation. If you don’t live there, stay out.”