Chief orders Kashechewan’s entire evacuation

Keshechewan Ontario

KASHECHEWAN, Ont. – Kashechewan First Nation Chief has now ordered the complete evacuation of his flood threatened town on the western shore of James Bay.

More than 1,400 residents had already been evacuated by Friday, and a statement issued by Kashechewan First Nation Communications says the remaining 400 or so will be moved out by tomorrow.

The initial evacuation plan had called for 15 to 20 residents to remain behind to keep an eye on the town’s critical infrastructure.

But with the Albany River rising rapidly, and conditions becoming increasingly perilous, Chief Stephen has decided to move everyone out — even pets.

The evacuees are being relocated in a number of communities including Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls, Wawa, Greenstone and Cornwall in eastern Ontario.

This is the fourth straight year the First Nation has had to evacuate, and Chief Stephen says the time has come to move the community to a new permanent location on higher ground.