Flood Clean-up Efforts Begin - sandbags

Sioux Lookout, ON – The Municipality of Sioux Lookout is preparing for some major clean-up efforts as the spring flood waters continue to recede.

Municipal Clerk, Brian P. MacKinnon, says, “there is a lot of work to be done around Sioux Lookout. A number of Municipal properties have been covered in debris, much like our waterfront businesses and residents.” MacKinnon adds, “We are taking several steps to work with the community to minimize the costs of cleaning up the debris.”

One of these steps will be staff working to clean up debris from Municipal properties such as parks, trails, boat launches, and other areas.

We will also be waiving tipping fees to dispose of flood-related waste at the landfill for those who register. Staff at the landfill will have this list available to waive tipping fees for affected properties. Landfill hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you have had railway ties wash up onto your property, they can be brought to a designated storage location at the landfill at no cost, but can NOT be mixed in with other waste for disposal.

As water levels return to normal, tens of thousands of sand bags will also need to be dealt with. Residents and businesses wishing to have sandbags picked up by the Municipality will also need to register with Public Works. Pallets of sandbags to be picked up must be properly stacked and left near the edge of the road or driveway, where they are easily accessible by forklift.

The Municipality also reminds area residents that there are a number of health concerns where flood waters have entered properties. These can include potential contamination of wells and drinking water from lakes, septic field and tank issues or failures, mould growth in or under buildings that experienced prolonged exposure to water, and structural or electrical issues that pose a risk when re-entering flooded buildings. For more information on these topics, please visit the Northwestern Health Unit page on potential health risks related to floods at https://www2.nwhu.on.ca/news/potential-health-risks-related-to-floods/. The Health Unit recommends that homeowners who are experiencing issues with or damage to their septic fields contact a local contractor to have them assessed.

“This is just the beginning of a long clean-up process,” explained Brian P. MacKinnon. “Lake levels are still far above normal levels, and it may still be many weeks before the extent of all damages can truly be assessed. But we are getting started, and are eager to assist the community.”

Remember to wear appropriate safety apparel when cleaning your property, such as gloves for picking up debris and face masks if entering damp environments where mould growth may be a concern.

The costs of flood mitigation for the Municipality of Sioux Lookout this spring have already surpassed the $200,000 mark, and will continue to rise as clean-up efforts begin and options for permanent infrastructure changes, such as raising road surfaces, are planned and implemented.


For more information, please contact:
Brian P. MacKinnon, Manager of Corporate Services/Municipal Clerk
807-738-2170 or [email protected]

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