Flood clean-up efforts begin in Sioux Lookout
Tim Brody - Editor
As flood waters continue to recede, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout is preparing for major clean-up efforts.
Municipal Clerk, Brian P. MacKinnon, shared in a June 24 media release, “there is a lot of work to be done around Sioux Lookout. A number of Municipal properties have been covered in debris, much like our waterfront businesses and residents.” MacKinnon added, “We are taking several steps to work with the community to minimize the costs of cleaning up the debris.”
The Municipality shared that one of those steps will be staff working to clean up debris from Municipal properties such as parks, trails, boat launches, and other areas.
“We will also be waiving tipping fees to dispose of flood-related waste at the landfill for those who register. Flood-affected residents and businesses can register to have these fees waived at https://webforms.siouxlookout.ca/flood/Tipping-Fee-Waiver-and-Sandbag-Collection, by calling Public Works at 737-1234, or emailing [email protected] with your name, address, phone number, and email address. Staff at the landfill will have this list available to waive tipping fees for affected properties. Landfill hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,” the Municipality advised.
If any railway ties have washed up on residents’ properties, the Municipality informed that they can be brought to a designated storage location at the landfill at no cost, but can NOT be mixed in with other waste for disposal.
“As water levels return to normal, tens of thousands of sandbags will also need to be dealt with. Residents and businesses wishing to have sandbags picked up by the Municipality will also need to register with Public Works. Pallets of sandbags to be picked up must be properly stacked and left near the edge of the road or driveway, where they are easily accessible by forklift.
“The Municipality also reminds area residents that there are a number of health concerns where flood waters have entered properties. These can include potential contamination of wells and drinking water from lakes, septic field and tank issues or failures, mould growth in or under buildings that experienced prolonged exposure to water, and structural or electrical issues that pose a risk when re-entering flooded buildings. For more information on these topics, please visit the Northwestern Health Unit page on potential health risks related to floods at https://www2.nwhu.on.ca/news/potential-health-risks-related-to-floods/. The Health Unit recommends that homeowners who are experiencing issues with or damage to their septic fields contact a local contractor to have them assessed,” the Municipality shared.
“This is just the beginning of a long clean-up process,” MacKinnon explained. “Lake levels are still far above normal levels, and it may still be many weeks before the extent of all damages can truly be assessed. But we are getting started, and are eager to assist the community.”
The Municipality is asking residents to remember to wear appropriate safety apparel when cleaning their property, such as gloves for picking up debris and face masks if entering damp environments where mould growth may be a concern.
“The costs of flood mitigation for the Municipality of Sioux Lookout this spring have already surpassed the $200,000 mark, and will continue to rise as clean-up efforts begin and options for permanent infrastructure changes, such as raising road surfaces, are planned and implemented,” the Municipality concluded.