More people to leave flood-threatened town

Keshechewan Ontario

KASHECHEWAN, Ont. – Evacuation flights are to resume today at a First Nations community in Northern Ontario that is threatened by flooding.

Chief Derek Stephen says 600 vulnerable residents of Kashechewan on the western shore of James Bay are the first to be evacuated.

Three flights left Thursday carrying people to safety in Kapuskasing, about 325 kilometres to the southwest.

All 1,900 residents will leave within the next week, although 15 to 20 people will remain behind to keep an eye on the town and its precarious dike.

Stephen says there’s a “horrible risk” of the old dike collapsing. He says it’s time to move the community to higher ground so it doesn’t have to face this every spring when ice thaws and river waters rise.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Kashechewan has had to be evacuated.