The Town of Smiths Falls has requested that the City of Kingston and other neighbouring municipalities assist it as host municipality in a coordinated response to the evacuation of residents of Northern Ontario threatened by rising flood waters.
Extensive flooding in the James Bay region of northern Ontario has prompted Emergency Management Ontario to request Smiths Falls to act as a host municipality to prepare for the evacuation of northern residents whose communities are threatened by flooding. The operation is being coordinated by Emergency Management Ontario and the Ministry of Natural Resources, in collaboration with federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations officials.
The first wave of evacuees is expected to arrive tomorrow, Monday, March 26, at the Gallipeau Centre, the former Rideau Regional Facility, in the Town of Smiths Falls. Last summer, up to 600 people displaced by northern forest fires were housed in that facility. The City of Kingston is assisting Smiths Falls as it readies for their arrival by providing resources and Kingston staff, as requested.
“I have met earlier today with senior City officials on our Municipal Control Group to review our planned response and how we can provide assistance requested by Smiths Falls,” Kingston Mayor Mark Gerretsen said. “We have already dispatched our lead emergency management staff member to the town to assist.”
“We are continually monitoring the situation and are prepared to provide resources as required,” said Mayor Gerretsen. Such resources may include equipment and supplies as well as City childcare and recreation staff.
Media information is also available at the official website of the province’s emergency preparedness and response branch.
Media contact information: Therese Greenwood, Manager of Communications, City of Kingston, [email protected], 613-546-4291, ext. 1156.