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City Government

Thunder Bay Responds as Evacuation Centre

April 30, 2008 - About 90 residents of Fort Albany First Nation, a community on the James Bay Coast, settled into their temporary home at Victoria Inn last evening after being evacuated from their homes due to flooding of the Albany River. Evacuees will be staying in Thunder Bay on a short-term basis until it is safe to return to their homes. The First Nation community declared an emergency earlier in the week due to flooding and began evacuating vulnerable populations to other communities in the region on Sunday. Fort Albany is one of Nishnawbe Aski Nation's 49 First Nation communities.

It must be difficult to be forced from your home because of a natural disaster, said Mayor Lynn Peterson. Yesterday was a long and, what I can imagine was, a frustrating day for Fort Albany residents. We were glad that we were able to welcome them into our community and provide a little sense of comfort and a home away from home for them. We will be working with community leaders from Fort Albany to provide for the comfort of evacuees during their stay here in Thunder Bay.

The local coordinating team including the City of Thunder Bay, Police, Fire & Rescue, Superior North EMS, Emergency Management Ontario and Canadian Red Cross, was activated Monday, April 28 to prepare and make necessary arrangements to receive evacuees.  The team will deal with evacuee requirements as they emerge. 

The Canadian Red Cross has set up a Central Registration Inquiry Bureau hotline for evacuees to locate and reconnect with family members who have been sent to other communities across the province. That number is 905-890-1203 ext: 314.

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Contact: Valerie Marasco, Communications Officer - Corporate Communications, 625-2438, mobile 621-4151.

 * Fort Albany First Nation Deputy Chief Andrew Linklater is here in Thunder Bay and is available to speak on behalf of his community. He can be reached at 705-365-7858.