Water Level Task Force update as of April 15 2016

Dear Member,

Your MLA Water Level Management Task Force continues to communicate daily and meet on an urgent basis on your behalf regarding the flooding in Muskoka. This update about the status of water levels in Muskoka is the fourth in this regular communication series (Apr 4, 7 & 11).

The weather is slowly warming with temperatures at night still at or below freezing, as you would know from weather forecasts. Much of the lake ice is now broken up and is disappearing rapidly. Water levels have dropped about 5” in the past 4 days in many areas. But the levels are still very high and waves can still send water and debris over many docks (trees, logs, wood, dock boards, etc). So there’s still the possibility of more damage.

We are hearing from many of you with reports on damage to your property and requests for updates on the action we are taking on your behalf.  This story has been covered by CTV Toronto and Barrie news, among many other news and media channels. We plan to post a Press Release on Monday as to our frustration with this historic event. No one has been able to assess the total damage yet, but the MLA suspects it will be very significant, with thousands of Muskoka properties damaged. The shoreline damage and erosion impact is tragic.

As communicated earlier this week, on April 11th, the first stage of our strategy is fact finding. Our intention is to find a solution to water level issues in Muskoka, and to that end, we are preparing our strategy that will become increasingly strong as we understand all the facts and formulate next steps.

That said we are not going to rest until we have assurances that this will not happen again and we will get to the bottom of why this has occurred again. We are as upset about this as you are.

Summary of actions done the past couple days on your behalf:

  • •       Michael Hart our president has spoken with Mayor Graydon Smith and Walter Schmidt formerly CAO of Huntsville, Engineer at Township Muskoka Lakes and now Director Public Works in Bracebridge for their understanding of the situation, facts and challenges.
  • •       Michael has also spoken to his counterpart at the Lake of Bays Association and Georgian Bay Associations to understand the extent of flooding up and down from the Muskoka District.
  • •       We meet with Norm Miller and an infrastructure specialist at Queen’s Park on Thursday April 21.
  • •       Paisley Donaldson, Mayor of Gravenhurst, Tuesday April 19
  • •       Executive Director of the Federation of Cottagers’ Associations, Terry Rees on Tuesday April 19.
  • •       We have already met with Don Furniss the TML Mayor and expect to meet him again early next week to let him know of our fact finding progress.
  • •       We will have a meeting with the District of Muskoka Chair, John Klink and Chief Admin Office, Michael Duben, targeted for next week.            

We have a detailed agenda for each meeting (the task force is meeting every 2-3days) with questions provided by the task force including our engineering members and will be providing you with our findings. Our approach is to find out as much as possible through informed questions about high water levels and the Muskoka River Water Management Plan. We will then formulate a plan going forward. Our next Task Force meeting is Monday April 18th. The task force will have some more meetings at very high levels of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry over the coming days and weeks.     

Please email our office, c/o Lisa Noonan lisa@mla.on.ca  if you have any questions you feel we should ask the above Leaders. Also, should you have pictures of the damage to your property then post it to our Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/muskokalakesassociation/

That way it can be shared with other members as well. 

Finally, the Task Force are putting questions together for a survey to our members that we will send out very shortly to gauge the level of property damage from MLA members. We will then publish the results of that as well. 

MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS UPDATE:

WE NEED YOU!

THIS IS A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION. WE ARE DOING OUR UPMOST AS A TEAM TO TACKLE THIS DISASTER HEAD ON. HOW CAN YOU HELP? FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO COTTAGE NEIGHBOURS AND JOIN THE MLA NOW.

THERE IS MORE STRENGTH IN NUMBERS AS 

THOUSAND’S OF VOICES CAN’T BE IGNORED.  

HERE IS THE LINK TO OUR MEMBERSHIP SIGN UP:

https://mla.on.ca/membership/MembershipPayment.aspx