Water levels continue to rise in Haliburton County
By Chad Ingram
Published May 4, 2017
Heavy rains on May 1 and 2 have led to flooding throughout Haliburton County and put many of the reservoir and flow-through lakes of the Trent Severn Waterway at or above capacity.
In the village of Haliburton, a portion of Bayshore Road between Highway 118 and the Haliburton Highlands Museum was washed away earlier this week, a stream of water gushing through it.
The Municipality of Dysart et al has opened gates at Glebe Park, allowing residents to access their homes by travelling through the park and property of Fleming College's Haliburton School of Art and Design.
“Not an ideal situation, but with some care taken, we'll get through OK and school has been very responsive and helpful,” Dysart et al chief administrative officer Tamara Wilbee told the paper.
Bayshore is the only Dysart-owned road that has been closed due to flooding so far.
A number of roads in Minden Hills have been closed. Portions of Soyers Lake, Milburn and Devil's Lake Road were closed early in the week, but were reopened by May 4.
A portion of Bobcaygeon Road north of Minden, which experienced a culvert washout that left a gaping crevice in the road, remains closed.
Several thoroughfares in Algonquin Highlands, including but not limited to Big Hawk Lake, Dawson, Halls Lake, Old Mill and Braeloch roads, have also been affected by floodwaters.
At the upper tier of Haliburton County, the municipality experienced some problems and shoulder washouts on County Roads 14, 11, 3, 21 and 2.
So far, no Haliburton County roads have required closing.
“All things considered, we are in good shape,” county roads director Craig Douglas told the paper.
Meanwhile, Parks Canada is at work moving water through the feeder system for the Trent-Severn Canal.
Reservoir lakes north of Minden have reached or exceeded capacity levels as water is retained to prevent severe flooding in the village. On Wednesday, May 3, logs were pulled from dams at Hawk and Kushog lakes in Algonquin Highlands and at Kennisis, Percy, Oblong, Redstone and Eagle in Dysart et al.
On May 4, outflows were increased from Horseshoe Lake into the Gull River, where water levels through the village of Minden continue to rise. The Gull has gobbled up portions of Minden Riverwalk and, as of Thursday afternoon, was creeping onto Invergordon Avenue.
Water levels are expected to reach or exceed levels from last spring. As of May 4, a rainfall warning was in effect for Haliburton County, with precipitation expected to begin Thursday evening and continue into the weekend.
Sandbags are available for Minden Hills residents at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena at 55 Parkside Dr. and at the public works yard at 4564 County Road 121 near Kinmount. This is a self-serve resource and residents are reminded to bring their own shovels.
Local politicians and municipal staff continue to have daily conference calls with officials from the MNRF and TSW as a flood warning remains in effect for Haliburton County.