About 1,000 people in the Attawapiskat First Nation have left their homes as rising flood waters threatened the northern Ontario community.
The Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) office said the First Nation declared a state of emergency late Friday and requested help to get out vulnerable residents. On Friday night, approximately 100 people were flown to Kirkland Lake. Elders, those who are sick and parents with small children were the first ones airlifted out of the community.
Taken yesterday over at Attawapiskat’s east end. pic.twitter.com/w9igWiGf4l— Jonathan P Nakogee (@JPNakogee) May 17, 2014
Earlier in the week, hundreds from the Kashechewan First Nation near James Bay in northern Ontario were also airlifted to nearby communities due to flooding. EMO said as of Friday, that evacuation was complete except for a few community members and band officials who stayed behind to look after local infrastructure.
Both remote reserves have a history of spring flooding. In 2013, the Attawapiskat hospital had to be shut down due to flooding and a backed-up sewer.