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State of emergency expected to be lifted soon in West Nipissing

Although it’s still in effect, it won’t be long before the state of emergency is lifted in West Nipissing following flooding in many parts of the municipality.

The level of the Sturgeon River is dropping rapidly and CAO Jay Barbeau says the level of Lake Nipissing is also falling but at a slower rate.

Barbeau says municipal boat launches won’t be ready for a while and that includes Minnehaha Bay.

He says they definitely won’t be open this weekend.

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On the positive side, although roads remain flooded and closed, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Barbeau says the road infrastructure is starting to become more visible as the water recedes and people should see major improvements by the end of next week.

The flooding affected the gravel roads and Barbeau says significant work will be needed to bring them back to standards.

He says about 11 kilometres of gravel roads will have to be looked after.

About 28,000 sandbags were used during the state of emergency to protect properties.

Barbeau says, the municipality will check with public health agencies, but he says it’s his understanding that as long as the sand has not become contaminated and is kept dry, it can be used again in the future.

When all the damage is assessed, it’s expected West Nipissing will qualify for provincial assistance as long as damage is above $500,000.

If it is, Barbeau says the municipality could see 75 percent of the damage covered by senior government.

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