By Chad Ingram
Published May 8 2017
While the Gull River continues to floodMinden on the morning of Monday May 8 the rate at which the riveris rising was beginning to ease up and Minden Hills Reeve andHaliburton County Warden Brent Devolin expected the Gull to crestwithin a few days.
“The river has not crested yet”Devolin said during a press conference outside the township office.“It would be expected that with what we see and what we know withthe weather forecast that's going to be mid-week.”
After a weekend of rain and 12consecutive days of rising levels on the river precipitation hadstopped Monday morning with light flurries in the air over thevillage.
“The good bit of news after days of15 and 20 and 50 centimetre rises that the overnight rise was only twocentimetres” Devolin said. “That's the beginning of the tideturning for us.”
As of noon on Monday levels on theGull River through Minden were 15 centimetres lower that they were atthe peak of the 2013 flood.
Devolin declared a state of emergencyin Minden Hills on Saturday May 6. A state of emergency which willallow the municipality access to provincial resources was alsodeclared during the 2013 flood.
“But water levels are very high atrecord highs above and below us at all reservoir lakes” Devolinsaid.
Water from nearly 30 lakes that arepart of the feeder system for the Trent Severn Waterway flows throughthe Gull River through the heart of Minden before continuing throughthe system.
During the weekend heavy flows northof Minden damaged the log chute at Big Hawk Lake and AlgonquinHighlands township closed the municipal wharf at Little Hawk andElvin Johnson Park at Halls Lake due to the high water levels.
Devolin has been in contact withMunicipal Affairs minister Bill Mauro as well as Premier KathleenWynne and indicated that delegations at the next Association ofMunicipalities of Ontario conference would involve discussions about funding forflood mitigation infrastructure in Minden.
“We have three levels of governmentwe all have something in this” said Devolin who was hoping toalso make contact with the Prime Minister.
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPJamie Schmale was in Minden on Monday surveying the floodwaters.
Devolin said the new dam at KennisisLake which the feds constructed as part of $40 million worth of damreplacements and repairs taking place within the county has beenhelpful.
“The Kennisis Lake dam that wentoperational last February has held back a metre of water that wedidn't have before” he said.
Devolin told the paper there havealso been discussions about the dams that will eventually replace thetwo at the bottom of Gull Lake south of Minden.
“The structures that go in there aregoing to allow more outflow than the present ones do” he said.
As of noon Monday numerous roads inthe village of Minden remained closed to traffic along with the mainstreet bridge that traverses the river. The township remains in stateof emergency a flood warning from the MNRF remains in effect and Devolin said that residents could expect waterlevels to remain high for a couple of weeks yet.
Minden Hills community servicesdirector Mark Coleman asked any residents on the system who are ableto do so to secure their docks and outdoor furniture as debris isstarting to come down the river.
Devolin cautioned that residents shouldnot put themselves in harm's way when attending to their properties.