Heavy rains force state of emergency in Wawa, Ont.
The northern Ontario town of Wawa has declared a state of emergency, after a record amount of rain caused flooding throughout the area.
The mayor of Wawa, Linda Nowicki, called the state of emergency late Thursday night after rains washed out all major roads leading in and out of the town of 3,000.
No one was injured as a result.
The rains have now stopped but they caused a creek to overflow and wash out a large section of the TransCanada Highway -- Highway 17 -- which leads into town, badly damaging the Northern Lights Motel, located alongside the highway. As well, the road near a Ford dealership crumbled away, sending minivans into a large sinkhole.
“The owner of the car dealership was called to move his vehicles because they were dropping into the big hole,” Nowicki told CTV News by phone Friday morning
The town’s hospital was also affected when water flooded the basement apartments sometimes used by doctors.
The main road through town, Highway 101, was closed, as was another road that leads to the nearby First Nations reserve.
While there’s been little flooding, all road traffic is currently at a standstill, Nowicki said.
“So within the town of Wawa itself, we don’t have any problems; it’s the areas beyond, the outlying areas,” she said.
An emergency team from the OPP and the township’s fire and other emergency services stayed up overnight to assess the damage.
They also personally called all residents in the areas affected to warn them not to travel and to remain near their phones. Mayor Nowicki said she herself phoned more than 250 families.
If necessary, outside help will be sought, Nowicki said, but at the moment, that is not needed.
She says it will be some time before roads can be temporarily reconnected.