MNRF issues flood outlook for low-lying parts of Manitoulin

Tehkummah’s 10th Line was closed April 17 from flooding from the Blue Jay creek.

MANITOULIN—The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) issued a flood outlook for Manitoulin Island recently, meaning that low lying areas across the Island have the potential for flooding.

“Mother Nature has been kind and gentle with the freeze/thaw cycle this year, but the snowpack has high water content this year, meaning the spring runoff, or freshet, won’t get absorbed by the snow,” Derrick Leutchford, of the MNRF Sudbury office, told The Expositor in a Friday interview. “It’s the water runoff that’s causing problems.”

On Wednesday, April 17 Tehkummah temporarily closed the 10th Line, from Concession 4 to Concession 6, due to flooding. High water runoff caused the Blue Jay Creek to flood the 10th Line, which was re-opened the following day.

Mr. Leutchford said while the MNRF does control three dams on Manitoulin—at Sandfield on Lake Manitou, Big Lake and the Mindemoya River—the dams aren’t a direct cause of the flooding being seen in some of those areas.

Mr. Leutchford explained that balancing the dams’ outflow is a delicate dance. “If we hold back too much water, it could flood people on the lakes.”

“No one’s flooding, so that’s a good thing,” he added.

Mr. Leutchford recommends keeping a close eye on the weather and, should you live in a low-lying area, be prepared for the potential for flooding.