Burnt River grapples with flooding as Ford slashes funding

By Roderick Benns

Local firefighter questions flood preparedness decision by city
Burnt River flooding continues. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

Flooding in the Burnt River and Fenelon Falls area continues, as sandbags are filled for resident pickup at the Burnt River Works Yard. Meanwhile, the PC government under Premier Doug Ford has slashed flood funding by 50 per cent to the conservation authorities that do this work. While the Burnt River area is not under Kawartha Conservation’s purview, the Fenelon Falls area is.

The Gull and Black rivers are at very high levels due to snowmelt and heavy precipitation. Water levels are being managed as best as possible but flooding is likely to occur in areas prone to flooding along these rivers.

Conservation Ontario, which oversee the province’s 36 conservation authorities, has already noted in a press release that it’s the smaller and more rural areas that will be most affected.

The conservation authorities forecast flooding and issue warnings, as well as monitor stream flow, and regulate development activities in the flood plains. The authority also helps to educate the public about flooding and protect the natural cover that can mitigate the impacts of flooding.

Under current watershed conditions all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks and shorelines will be slippery and unsafe, and may be undercut.

Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.


It is property owner’s responsibility to secure sand bags to protect their property. Self-serve sand and bags are available at three locations:

  • Burnt River Works Yard (filled sandbags available)
  • Dalton Community Centre (13 Rumohr Drive, Sebright)
  • Intersection of Chisholm Trail and Brooks Lane near Black River

All residents should stay a safe distance from all water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Shorelines and banks are saturated and may be slippery and undercut. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.

Road closures due to flooding:

Burnt River road coming in off the north end at 121
Pinery Road closed from Winchester to Burnt River Road
Part of Concession Road 9
Shuttleworth Road
Crooked Court
3rd Road Somerville
9th Concession Burnt River is closed from County Road 121 to #59
Monck Road 45 is closed from Kinmount Road 121 Norland to Hwy 35 due to culvert failure



  1. Brad says:

    The City provides sand bags, not Conservation. Also I am fairly certain Kawartha Conservation does not have any involvement on the Burnt River.

  2. J says:

    Flooding occurred when Conservation Authority had full funding under the liberal government. It just doesn’t happen because of the PC government ….it happens because of water mismanagement by the Conservation Authority

  3. Brenda Walton says:

    has Laurie Scott been to Burnt River to see the damage and offer help? Doug Ford has been to Bracebridge and offered provincial support.

  4. Bri Peterson says:

    Such one sided Liberal crap. Real news is impartial and unbiased.

  5. Tricia Playfoot says:

    Okay, so many wanna whine and complain about Ford being blamed for floods …. cuts to municipalities (which is the main source to conservation programs) plus the direct cut to conservation programs surrounding flooding is Ford’s fault, the water will always come and go, but the timing of the cut is what he is under fire for …. remember the big snow storms where the army was deployed to Toronto to dig people out … no not really? There were no cuts around that area so I guess that could slip people’s minds but not 2 years ago in 2017 there were flooding issues and why was it not a huge thing that everyone would remember …. cause there were no cuts to the essential programs which were in place to do something about it, now 2 weeks (hereabouts) since Ford made this cut the flooding is back, and the funding is not the cause of the flood but it will be the cause of future floods cause the conservation programs will not be able to collect and compile as much data and set in place new methods to try and alleviate the areas from this occurring again, that is part of the Flooding program which it seems to few understand when they accept these cuts and defend them.

  6. Tj says:

    Who makes the call to make sand bags? It was a couple days to late for the people in Burnt River. Water was almost at its peak before there were any available. It seems like Minden Hills and coby got sand bags going ahead of the flood.

  7. Maryanne says:

    Ford is not responsible for this flood. However he has cut the budget to the conservation authority by 50% and he is doing everything in his power to sabotage any attempts made by other governments to combat climate change. He is not offering his plan or an alternative. He said he would help out Bracebridge because his family cottage is nearby. He even hired a helicopter at taxpayer expense to survey his area. With all of his reckless cuts including cancelling tree planting initiatives, reducing forest fire funding among many and the real and prevalent danger of climate change, we are in for a whole lot of misery. We need strong leadership who listens to the people they are working for. In the meantime, thanks to all who have volunteered their time to help out their neighbours. Let’s all pray that this will not be an annual event.

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