Lakefront Bowmanville battles flooding

Emergency crews have not yet issued a mandatory evacuation of a flooded waterfront Bowmanville neighbourhood, however the Municipality of Clarington has opened an evacuation centre for residents who need somewhere to warm up and dry off.

Cedar Crest Beach Road has been plagued this week by high waves and rising water from the lake and marsh. Heavy rains — beginning Thursday, May 4 — are adding the trouble.

Environment Canada is forecasting an additional 30 mm of rain in addition to what has already fallen.

Fire crews and Clarington Operations staff were on-scene on Friday, May 5 assisting residents with pumping water from crawl spaces and are providing pre-filled sandbags.

Clarington Emergency and Fire Services is working closely with Operations staff, Durham Regional Police Services and residents in a co-ordinated effort to protect the affected properties as much as possible.

Clarington’s Fire Chief Gord Weir is at the site as the Community Emergency Management Co-ordinator. Weir continues to assess the situation and may call a localized evacuation.

The Municipality has opened an evacuation centre at the Newcastle & District Recreation Complex, 1780 Rudell Rd.

Currently, Cedar Crest Beach Road is only open to local traffic and emergency vehicles.

Those wanting to help a family member or a friend who lives in that area, will need to first check in at the Clarington Animal Shelter, 33 Lake Rd. in Bowmanville.

The Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team (OVERT) will be co-ordinating all other relief efforts.

Staff are still assessing other low-lying areas in Clarington that may be vulnerable to flooding. All residents are being asked to stay away from the lake area, including the waterfront trails. Avoid walking on or near the bluffs as it is unsafe right now. Please also avoid all creeks and rivers and any fast-moving water.

Watch for further updates at www.durhamregion.com and the Municipality of Clarington’s Facebook and Twitter.

by Jennifer O’Meara Clarington This Week

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