The Town of Bracebridge is advising residents that local water levels are stabilizing and receding, but areas experiencing flooding will not see water levels start to recede until water works its way out of the watershed, according to a news release from the town on May 2.
A review of recent data indicates that the North Branch of the Muskoka River is receding, according to the release, so residents should see a decline in water levels throughout today and overnight. The South Branch of the Muskoka River and water levels in Lake Muskoka have stabilized, so the levels are expected to slowly decline over the next week. Areas that are currently experiencing flooding will not see water levels start to recede until water works its way out of the watershed, so affected residents are reminded to check in and update 211 on their situation. The Canadian Armed Forces Reservists continue to support emergency response efforts with a total remaining complement of 120 troops in the area. Troops will undertake reviews of previous sandbagging efforts to ensure they remain effective and continue to support first responders with wellness checks, delivery of supplies and evacuation efforts.
Town staff, with the assistance of Canadian Armed Forces engineers, will continue to review the integrity of town infrastructure throughout flooded areas and begin an inspection of area shoreline. Staff in the Building Services Branch will be inspecting properties that have been affected by flooding by request. Contact 705-645-6319 ext. 236 and leave a message with your property address, nature of your issue (septic or structure) and when someone would be available on site to meet staff.
While the flood emergency is ongoing in some areas, other areas are beginning recovery and clean-up efforts, so the town is working with the District of Muskoka to develop a coordinated approach for solid waste and sandbag disposal. More information will be provided as soon as it is available, according to the release.
The town has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to provide registration services for individuals in need of financial assistance with flood related costs. Registering with the Canadian Red Cross will provide access to the Ontario Flood Appeal as well as local fundraising. To register, call the Canadian Red Cross toll-free at 1-800-863-6582.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has also activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program to assist Bracebridge residents with basic cost recovery for specific flood related expenses. More information about the program can be found on the DRAO website.
Fraserburg Road remains closed and town officials are asking everyone in the area to contact 211 and provide an update on their situation. Town officials with the assistance of the Armed Forces will be crossing the closed portion of Fraserburg Road today to deliver supplies to those in need and complete wellness checks on individuals who have stayed in the area.
Beaumont Drive is stable and remains open to local traffic only. It is being monitored on an ongoing basis and will be closed should it become unsafe at any point, according to the release. Santa’s Village Road remains closed in the area of Leslie Drive. The public is reminded it is illegal to travel on roadways marked as closed.
The Interim Order issued by Transport Canada respecting navigation restrictions remains in place prohibiting navigation on Lake Muskoka, the North and South Branch Muskoka River, and the Moon River. If individuals must use a waterway to access a property, they are urged to navigate safely and as slow as possible. The OPP Marine Unit will be patrolling waterways to ensure compliance with this Interim Order.
The Drinking Water Advisory issued by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for the affected areas remains in place. Residents are advised that properties using well water in flooded areas should assume the water is not safe to drink. Municipal water sources are not affected by this advisory. A complete list of Municipal water sources available through the District of Muskoka is available here.
Sandbags are still available free of charge at Fowler Construction (1206 Rosewarne Dr.) for Bracebridge properties who have been affected by flooding. Sandbags are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.