Minden residents told to evacuate homes as water levels rise

By Mark Arike

As water levels continue to rise, The Township of Minden Hills remains in a state of emergency.

On April 21, volunteer firefighters from Minden Hills, Algonquin Highlands and Dysart et al could be seen checking up on residents by boat in inland areas such as Anson Street, Orde Street, Invergordon Avenue, and Prince Street. Around noon, residents in these areas were advised to evacuate their homes.

“The water levels are continuing to rise and we don’t know when they’ll peak, or how high the water is going to get,” said Minden Hills Reeve Barb Reid at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

“The emergency was declared yesterday and the emergency response team is in action as we speak,” she said, adding that barricades would be going up.

In addition to the presence of many volunteer firefighters, county staff, EMS and OPP were also assisting with emergency efforts. An evacuation centre was set up at the S.G. Nesbitt Community Centre for those in need of shelter.

In a press release issued by the County of Haliburton late this afternoon, Warden Carol Moffat said that although water levels are starting to recede in many parts of the county, the Trent Severn Waterway (TSW) advises that concerns remain about potential flooding throughout the county.

“Many lakes have seen unprecedented water levels as the TSW faces the challenge of balancing all this water,” said Moffatt. “With neighbouring regions also being flooded, there simply isn’t anywhere to put the water.”

The release states that the county received 75 mm (three inches) of rain in a 24-hour period last week. As a result, the TSW has been “working diligently to store water wherever it can to prevent further flooding in Minden.”

Anyone who believes they are in immediate danger is encouraged to call 9-1-1. For assistance with evacuation contact the Township office at 1-866-856-3247 or Haliburton Highlands OPP Const. Paul Potter at 705-455-2626.

More to come as this story develops.

Local residents observe the high water levels in the downtown core.

Water surrounds Minden’s LCBO.

A vehicle goes through the water on St. Germaine Street while another motorist decides to turn around.

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