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Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes issue flood updates

“Good, but not great.”

That’s the word from Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith today on the flood.

The north branch Muskoka River is continuing to recede as outflows from the Huntsville and Algonquin areas have reduced. There has also been what the town calls noticeable improvements along the north branch Muskoka River through Bracebridge however water levels remain higher than normal for this time of year.

As for the south branch of the river, it’s starting to recede as outflows from Baysville and Algonquin are starting to shrink.

Water levels in the Muskoka River below the Bracebridge Falls are stable and are expected to begin to recede as flows from the upstream river branches reduce. Residents affected by flooding are reminded to check in and update 211 on their situation.

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The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program to assist Bracebridge residents with basic cost recovery for specific flood-related expenses. More information for this program can be found on the DRAO website and the Town of Bracebridge Disaster Recovery Assistance page.

The town has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to provide registration services for individuals in need of financial assistance with flood-related costs. Registration with the Canadian Red Cross will provide access to the Ontario Flood Appeal as well as local fundraising. To register call the Canadian Red Cross toll free at 1-800-863-6582.

Organizations and individuals interested in making a financial donation to flood recovery efforts can do so in person at the Town of Bracebridge Offices located at 1000 Taylor Court during regular business hours. Online donation services will be made available soon. Donation through the Town of Bracebridge will ensure that all funds remain local and are distributed to those households impacted in Bracebridge.

The Canadian Armed Forces Reservists continue to support emergency response efforts in the Town with a total remaining complement of 120 troops and equipment in the area. Town Staff, with the assistance of Canadian Armed Forces engineers, will continue to review the integrity of Town infrastructure throughout flooded areas and begin an inspection of area shoreline.

The Interim Order issued by Transport Canada respecting navigation restrictions remains in place prohibiting navigation on Lake Muskoka; the north and south branch of Muskoka River; and the Moon River. If anyone has to use a waterway to access a property, they are urged to navigate safely and as slow as possible.

To assist Bracebridge property owners with clean-up resulting from the flood the town will be issuing one Waste Disposal Voucher per property to provide no-charge disposal of flood-damaged waste at the Rosewarne Transfer Station during operating hours. The voucher is valid to dispose of up to one half-ton and single-axle trailer load (or equivalent) of flood-related debris.

Vouchers for solid waste disposal are available to Town of Bracebridge property owners that:

-Have solid waste generated by the 2019 flood in the Town of Bracebridge;
-Do not have insurance coverage that would compensate them for solid waste disposal costs related to the 2019 flood in the Town of Bracebridge; and
-Require the Town’s financial assistance to address waste disposal costs resulting from the 2019 flood in the Town of Bracebridge.
-Proof of ownership is required.

You can find more details on the current flooding situation at the town’s website.

As for the Township of Muskoka Lakes, water levels have risen over the past 24 hours. Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph and the Moon River have all gone up about three to four centimetres.

Township officials have been notified that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is beginning to reduce flows on the Muskoka Watershed north of Lake Muskoka. The reduction of flow from Kawagama Lake, Lake of Bays, Huntsville Lakes and Mary Lake will reduce inflows to Lake Muskoka and translate to about a three centimetre per day water level decrease.

Any resident in need of sandbag support can call the township office at 705-765-3156 for assistance. The township will prepare a sandbag return location once the emergency situation has stabilized. More information will be made available at a later date.

Township officials are currently working with the Province of Ontario on Disaster Recovery Assistance for residents of Muskoka Lakes. You can find more details about the flood at the township’s website.

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