By Chad Ingram
Published June 15 2017
Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin said during a committee-of-the-whole meeting on June 8 that residents affected by the flood this spring will have an opportunity to express their concerns at a public meeting.
The township was in a state of emergency from May 6 to 26 as the Gull River swelled its banks leaving swaths of Minden underwater in a situation reminiscent of the 2013 flood.
“There’s really three phases that occur during the course of a flood” Devolin said the first being the crisis stage which has now ended.
“The second phase is the recovery phase” Devolin said adding this phase is ongoing in Minden Hills. Some township infrastructure was damaged in the flood and the municipality has been working on repairing a damaged water main along Water Street reopening parts of Rotary Park etc.
Typically the reeve said this phase lasts 1.5 to two times longer than the crisis phase.
“We’re not anywhere near done” Devolin said adding that recovery may be completed by July.
Third “we’re going to get around to thanking all the people who’ve been doing wonderful things” Devolin said.
Numerous individuals and organizations have volunteered to assist flood victims during and following the flood.
“It’s become exceedingly clear to me that we need to have some kind of public meeting as well” Devolin said. “There will be an opportunity to do that.”
During the 2013 flood there was a public meeting at the Minden Hills Community Centre where residents were able to ask questions of representatives from the Trent Severn Waterway.
There has been some online criticism from Minden Hills residents of a lack of a public meeting this time around.
As for what kind of flood mitigation infrastructure projects might be required in Minden “the type of things that have to be done will be many years in duration” Devolin said.
The reeve has said that he expects that flooding and flood mitigation will be a major topic of discussion at this summer’s Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa.
Two other municipalities in eastern Ontario also declared states of emergency due to flooding this spring.