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County’s state of emergency remains in effect

While all low-lying and waterfront properties are considered to be at risk of flooding, the areas noted on the map are of particular concern and property owners are encouraged to take appropriate precautions and actions.

Prince Edward County’s state of emergency declared May 9 remains in effect due to localized flooding and high water levels on the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario.

“Water levels appear to have stabilized and I am cautiously optimistic that water levels will come down over the next several weeks,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff during an update Wednesday morning by the County’s Emergency Control Group. “While this is good news, heavy rain and prolonged precipitation could cause water levels to rise again.”

He noted elevated water levels, high winds and wake from boaters still pose a risk to the shorelines and adjacent properties.

The Emergency Control Group has met a dozen times since the declaration and the County continues to monitor road conditions in low-lying areas. Crews have been repairing several roads damaged by waves and debris.

“I understand this has been difficult for many residents,” the mayor said. “Some of our residents are emotionally, and physically exhausted from coping with the flooding.” He thanked residents for their resiliency and for helping neighbours and friends, and County staff for their work over the past month.

Robert McAuley, Commissioner of Engineering, Development and Works, said it is too early to make an assessment of the damage involving erosion, roads reduced to single lanes and some closed after heavy rainfalls.

“The majority of efforts are at Cressy Lakeside where a large part of the shoreline, in multiple locations, has washed away and has washed away theroad. A lot of material has been brought in, and equipment used, to put the road back. That’s the biggest expense. The rest is a little gravel work here, and shoulder work there, closing and posting roads.”

Unit the water recedes, the County won’t know the full damage, he said. “While they’re saturated, we can’t maintain them and their turning into pot holes and big mud holes. So there are unknown costs yet to be seen.”

Fire Chief Scott Manlow, chairman of the Emergency Control Group, said the County has received 110 inquiries and 51 requests for assistance. Nine residents received assistance with sandbagging.

“We assessed water levels and advised people on any potential shock hazards and to talk about isolating any electrical issues they might have,” said Manlow. He warns all residents to be respectful of water areas and shorelines.

“Where you traditionally walked on your shoreline there could be dangers there with erosion. We stress that if you have hydro at your shoreline, or water in your basement, to isolate that and get it inspected by Ontario Hydro.”

More than 81,000 sandbags have been distributed to date. There are about 1,200 pre-filled sandbags available in Ameliasburgh, (15 Coleman) and self-serve bags are available at Wellington (111 Belleville St) and at Picton (115 Lake St).

The mayor reminded the Red Cross is offring financial help to households affected by the flooding and can receive $600 in assistance. Visit www.redcross.ca/gethelp for details.

The province is monitoring damage before deciding to activate the Disaster Recovery Assistance Fund program that would assist individuals, small businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations to recover emergency expenses and repairs.

The County will position dumpsters in several locations to assist with collection of sandbags and flood-related debris.

“Despite the state of emergency, Prince Edward County is very much open for business,” Quaiff said. “Wineries, restaurants, breweries, accommodation providers, galleries and studios – everything remains open and ready to welcome our visitors.”

Filed Under: Local News

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