Flooding is seen on Front Road in LaSalle on July 8, 2019. Photo courtesy of Town of LaSalle.

Ontario appoints special advisor on flooding

Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry has announced the appointment of a special advisor on flooding.

Doug McNeil will advise provincial officials on how they can reduce the impacts of flooding on communities. He will take a look at what governments, agencies, and organizations do now to mitigate flooding, look for areas where improvement is needed, review feedback, and ensure recommendations made can be implemented.

“We heard from people across the province and saw first-hand damage caused by flooding in so many communities,” said John Yakabuski after provincial engagement sessions in Muskoka, Pembroke and Ottawa earlier this year.

(Photo courtesy, Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

(Photo courtesy, Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

While all three communities suffered severe flooding this spring, Chatham-Kent’s municipal council declared a climate emergency this week, and the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority issued a flood watch for the Lake Erie Shoreline and Erie Shore Drive that will remain in effect until July 20. Meanwhile, the Essex Region Conservation Authority has extended a flood watch first issued in May to August 2.

A release from the province also said the government would make it easier for property and homeowners to take immediate action when flooding happens by applying online for a work permit to repair eroded shorelines.

The Ministry has launched a new Surface Water Monitoring Centre web page with access to flood early warning messages. It will help home, and property owners prepare for flooding and reduce damage.

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McNeil was Manitoba’s Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation and Vice President of Hydraulics with the Manitoba Floodway Authority. He played a vital role in the province’s recovery from the so-called Flood of the Century on the Red River in 1997.