Flooding Takes the Shine Off

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Written by Steve Earsom
Friday, May 30, 2014

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.We and the waterfowl have had a pretty good ride so far this year. The ducks and geese are enjoying excellent habitat conditions, and while weather has slowed our survey from time to time, we’ve not been stopped for more than 3 days at a time, which has really been more an opportunity to catch our breath than it has been an inconvenience. Not so for Canadians in some areas of Quebec and Ontario.

We learned about the flooding in Attawapiskat and Kashechewan when we had a hard time finding a place to stay in Kapuskasing. Attawapiskat takes its name from the river that flows by it and thence into the James Bay. Because this Cree village is connected to the cities of the south only by aircraft and winter ice roads (well, you can also take a boat if you’ve got the time), flooding in the isolated community is a real challenge. Residents from there and Kashechwan have been evacuated to places as far away as Thunder Bay, almost 400 miles to the southwest.

In Quebec, we saw some flooding along the St. Lawrence due to spring runoff and some heavy rains. Some waterfowl were likely inconvenienced as well, since one area where I usually take a deep breath before recording ducks on our computers was completely inundated. So next time you’re giving thanks to the weather gods for the wet conditions, you might let them know some folks in Canada have had enough, already!