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Town of Rainy River Declares State of Emergency as water levels rise

By Ken Johnston

The Town of Rainy River declared a state of emergency at 3:35 p.m. Friday the 13th of June, 2014.
Town Clerk Veldron Vogan said, "This is basically a precautionary measure at this point. But we have been watching a guage (upstream) at Manitou and it keeps rising."
Vogan said that last week the high waters were dropping. "Last Thursday it was at 18 ft... then it dropped to 15 ft.... now it is at 19 ft. and it keeps rising."
The town has not called for people to sandbag at this point but do want people to volunteer to be at the ready. "People can call 807-852-3978 and leave a message or email us and let us know they will be willing to volunteer as sandbaggers in case we need them," said Vogan yesterday.
While they do not feel they need sandbaggers at this point they will continue to monitor the situation and are planning another meeting of council at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
"We might be alright if it doesn't rain anymore for a few days, but it doesn't sound good in the forecast," said Vogan.
A state of emergency allows the town to bypass purchasing bylaws to insure they have what they need for the emergency.
"It also allows volunteers to be covered under the town's WSIB (Workman's Compensation)," explained Vogan.
The town currently has 10,000 sandbags and has sourced more if need be.