(6:15 p.m. update) State of emergency continues in WawaMonday, October 29, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
CAROL HUGHES, MP
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
Hughes brings Wawa's plight to Parliament
OTTAWA – The government needs to make funds available to Wawa so that the community isn’t forced to carry the load that accompanies the region’s state of emergency, says Carol Hughes.
The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing made the plea in parliament today as she reported the extent of damages to a packed Commons immediately ahead of Question Period.
“The torrential rains that wiped out sections of the trans-Canada highway and other roads in and around Wawa also affected many other communities that rely on these washed out routes,” said Hughes. “Dubreuilville, Hawk Junction, and Oba lost phone service. Michipicoten First Nation has been isolated while a major commercial route has been severed.”
Hughes told parliament the costs will go beyond the money needed to repair roads and that local businesses have either been directly hit or are feeling the pinch from the emergency.
She reminded the House that Wawa has been facing tough economic times for a while and this can’t be left for the town to shoulder alone.
“As Mayor Linda Nowicki, council, and Michipicoten First Nation work tirelessly to deal with the state of emergency, we must remember this is a huge burden for a small community still reeling from the collapse of the forestry sector,” said Hughes.
Hughes called on all parliamentarians to express their support for Wawa and to join her in asking the government to do all it can to help the town in its time of need.
Update - Final evacuation of Michipicoten First Nation
WAWA, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police Superior East Wawa Detachment and the Municipality of Wawa advise that the State of Emergency continues for the municipality.
Michipicoten First Nation (MFN) has entered into a Phase 2 Evacuation.
In partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Emergency Management Ontario and Wilderness Helicopters the remainder of the residents were evacuated from the community this afternoon.
Currently there are 52 registered members of the MFN staying in Wawa.
The Municipality of Wawa and the Red Cross have arranged for accommodations and meals for the evacuees.
Road work continues on the Harbour Road into the Michipicoten First Nation.
The OPP are requesting that the public remain away from this area.
This will allow the Municipality’s Public Works Department to work as quickly and as safely as possible.
Highway 17 northbound remains closed with the road work progressing well.
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) has not set a definite date for the reopening.
Highway 17 south remains open with gravel sections.
The OPP and MTO warn the motorists to drive with extreme caution in these areas.
A speed reduction is in effect, with plenty of signage to warn the public of the gravel areas.