The Flood of Spring 2013 in Huntsville, Ontario

The Flood of Spring 2013 in Huntsville, Ontario

Huntsville flooding - flooded riverside park area - Ontario - April 21 2013

In the spring of 2013 it was evident that spring was upon us, along the shores in Huntsville, Ontario.  Not only had the heavy snows of winter 2013/14 all but melted away, but April showers were in full swing.  For several days in a row, heavy rains had added to the runoff creating dangerous levels of water and flooding in all bodies of water.  Huntsville was one of the worst hit areas when it came to the Flood of Spring 2013.

Huntsville flooding - flooded pub - Ontario - April 21 2013

As of this past Friday, the mayor of Huntsville had declared Huntsville a disaster zone.  Businesses along the Muskoka River, where it flows through the town, were inundated with the rising waters.

Huntsville flooding - park bench underwater - Ontario - April 21 2013

Park benches along the promenade give some indication of the water’s depth.

Huntsville flooding - on the docks flooding - Ontario - April 21 2013

Kayaking anyone?  Under these conditions it might be a good way to get around.

Huntsville flooding - sand bagging business - Ontario - April 21 2013

Huntsville flooding - sand bags in front of business - Ontario - April 21 2013

Huntsville flooding - sand bags - Ontario - April 21 2013

Efforts to sandbag those establishments as of yet untouched by the flood waters kept area business owners busy and gave them a sense of satisfaction by doing something to stop the encroaching waters.

Huntsville flooding - flooded riverside buildings - Ontario - April 21 2013

Loads of debris, including several docks, were seen floating idly in the swift current.  Even the town’s main dock was in danger of being damaged.

Huntsville flooding - flooded boat house - Ontario - April 21 2013

Out along the Big East River, all that could be seen of some boathouses was the top half.  That was on Sunday by which time the flood waters had temporarily receded a few inches.

Big East River flood zone - flooded river and homes - April 21 2013

Big East River flood zone - flooded red colored home - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

From the far shore of the river, Bob and I could see objects floating around inside one building, even as the river coursed by the property at a good clip.

Big East River flood zone - flooded cedar home - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

Building on the flood plain of a river does have its challenges as seen here where a cottage would be better suited as a boathouse.

Big East River flood zone - flooded home - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

With the river expected to rise further within the next 24 hours, area residents prepared for the worst.

Big East River flood zone - flooded house - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

Big East River flood zone - a boat not a float - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

Many residents had been asked to evacuate their homes and properties, boil their drinking water, and throw out any food that had come into contact with contaminated flood waters.

Big East River flood zone - sump pump hard at work - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

The constant roar of generators powering sump pumps could be heard over the sound of the rushing river.  All hydro had been cut off to those houses affected by the flood.

Big East River flood zone - plowing water - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

At random moments, the owner of one property bulldozed water away from his foundation.

Big East River flood zone - -- Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

Big East River flood zone - flooded home and property - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

For Bob and me, it was a real reminder of just how powerful and unforgiving are the forces of nature, and water.

Big East River flood zone - flooded home - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

Only for this cedar rail fence, Bob and I wouldn’t have known where the river front property ends and the river begins.

Big East River flood zone - flooded forest and homes - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

Big East River flood zone - Bridgeview lane - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

There, along Ravenscliffe Road,

Big East River flood zone - Huntsville, Ontario - April 21 2013

the Big East River had well overflowed its banks and reminded everyone that its course can be broad and unbridled.  This is the first flood since the last one in 2008, and yet, the flood of 2013 has broken all records and was declared the worst yet.

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