State of Emergency Declared in Bracebridge, Minden Hills, As Floodwaters Rise

Sandbags Available to Affected Residents

The Mayor of Bracebridge has declared a State of Emergency over water levels rising at a dangerous pace, while Minden Hills made the same declaration by Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Greydon Smith says the Town has activated its emergency plan and is monitoring rainfall and water levels, while the Public Works department struggles to maintain flooded or washed out roadways across the area.

Property owners are advised to take precautionary measures as water levels continue to rise. Docks and waterfront structures should be securely affixed to shore or removed altogether if it is safe to do so.

Sandbags are being made available for free from the Town to Bracebridge residents; bags can be picked up at the Fowlers Construction scale house at 1206 Rosewarne Dr, Bracebridge. Sandbags are available seven days a week.

The Township of Minden Hills has also declared a state of emergency due to rising water levels and is encouraging residents to take necessary precautions to protect personal safety and property, and continue to monitor developing conditions. The Township has made sandbags available to affected residents at the following locations:

  • S.G Nesbitt Arena Parking Lots, located at 55 Parkside Street (in the following parking locations): Lower Parking Area – For Self-Filling Follow the parking lot between the construction fencing and the snow pile to the back (south east corner) of the parking lot. Pre-Filled Sandbags will be available at the Upper Parking Lot Adjacent to the Curling Club as well as the lower parking area.
  • Roads Department (in the Sand Dome – to the left of the entrance), located at 4564 County Road 121 (Kinmount location – self-serve).
  • Furnace Falls Park – Front Turnaround – County Road 503. (self-serve)

Meanwhile, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is offering advice to those concerned about flooding, as detailed below:

What you can do…

…if your area is at risk of flooding:

  • Listen to the latest warnings and advisories on the radio, television, or reliable sources on social media or the internet. Examples of reliable sources include your local municipality, conservation authorities, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
  • Prepare your home for a possible extended vacancy and collect necessary personal items you will require if evacuated, such as cash, medication, important papers and identification, change of clothes.
  • Remove valuable items from the basement and lower-level areas.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is charged – it may be your only means of communication during an evacuation.
  • Be prepared to place your pets in a kennel, as evacuation centres may not accept animals.
  • Keep your automobile fueled.
  • Evacuate if directed to do so.
  • In the event of an evacuation, assist those with special needs such as children and persons with disabilities.
  • Secure all boats and items left loose on and around piers, docks, or boathouses.

…during a flood:

  • Shut off the electricity, furnaces, and the outside gas valves if safe to do so.
  • Never try to cross a flooded area on foot.
  • If you are in a car, do not drive through flood waters.

…after a flood:

  • Seek out medical assistance, if needed.
  • Check on neighbours who may need assistance.
  • Report any broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities.
  • Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes, or fuse breaker panels until they have been checked by your local authority.
  • The water in your home could be heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants after a flood. Listen for instructions from your local public health unit as to what to do.
  • Food may have been contaminated as well by flood waters or spoiled if the power went out.
  • Follow these guidelines when cleaning up after a flood.