Mindenites keeping eye on Gull

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Chris Kranyak stands on the front step of her Anson Street, Minden, home having a cigarette and warily watching the Gull River across the street.

Orange sand bags line the boat launch a stone’s throw away.

Kranyak has only lived in the house for two-and-a-half years, and not experienced a Gull River breach, but her sister, who lived in the home for 30 years, has.

“When they put the sandbags down the other day, our first thought was, of course, they’re expecting floods, but they put out on the Minden Hills website that it was just a precaution,” Kranyak said on April 18.

“But we watch the water go up and down every day,” she added. “I don’t think it will flood. We went through those torrential rains on the Sunday two weeks ago. It didn’t end up being anything.”

Nevertheless she is keeping an eye on the large culvert out front as well as water levels in the backyard. After all, it’s that time of year. Minden Hills and other County residents are watching the Gull and Burnt River for rising waters and other Highlanders are keeping an eye on lakes as the Trent Severn Waterway manages dams for spring run-off.

Minden Hills mayor Bob Carter said the township has another week or two to worry about potential flooding, but as of April 18 conditions were stable.

The MNRF gave notice April 14 of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds and other conditions. The water conditions statement – flood outlook bulletin remains in effect until April 21 at 4 p.m.

Carter, who has spoken with Parks Canada and the MNRF a number of times over the last week or two, said he’s been told there’s still a lot of snow in the northern areas. As a result, he said the melt has been significant but the good news is, “we didn’t have all of the rain that was forecast.

“So, as long as our rain levels remain somewhat normal, or slightly above normal, we’ll be fine.” However, if there is another big rainstorm like the recent one, the mayor said, “that would be problematic. So, we have another week or two to worry about it.”

Township staff confirmed they have placed sandbags across the boat launch on Anson Street as a precaution. The boat launch is closed until further notice.

In its statement, the MNRF advised of hazardous conditions near water, localized flooding on access roads, and told people to prepare accordingly.

“MNRF is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate,” they said.