High water and relentless wind pummel Callander’s shore

CALLANDER, Ont. — These past days, the waves did a number on Callander’s Centennial Park.

The dock has been damaged – many boards were torn from the steel frame – and the metal break wall running along the shore has also pulled away in some sections. The town explained that the rising water was made all the worse by the wind, essentially pooling more water into Callander Bay.

Operations staff recorded waves between two to six feet high along the shore. Mayor Robb Noon was at the park during the relentless wind of Friday and Saturday and “the waves were splashing over the sidewalk.”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve watched the water break over our break wall,” he said. That wall was installed about 20 years ago, and at the time Mayor Noon was a councillor. A storm had blown through and removed some chunks from the park’s shore, so soon after the break wall was installed.

Now it requires repair. First, staff must wait for the water to recede. It’s a big job, as the steel break wall is moored to steel I-beams buried within the park. Each beam is 20 feet away from the next one, and they run the length of the wall. A steel rod runs from the wall to the I-beam to anchor it in place. The expectation is that a few of those rods have broken their connections.

Operations staff will put together a report on the damage and provide an estimate to council as to how much repairs will cost.

The waves came “for two days solid,” Mayor Noon said, and even when the worst of it was over, those winds remained strong. “It was mostly on Friday and Saturday when I think the majority of damage was done.”

The damaged areas have been taped off, and orange cones stand to warn people of the damage. You are asked to keep clear of those areas. Dogs too. “Luckily, our new sidewalk didn’t get damaged,” Mayor Noon said.

Callander has sandbags for those in need. They are available (for free) at the Operations Office at 100 Nipissing St.

A flood warning was issued for Callander on Friday by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority. That warning included North Bay, and the city has opened a second sandbag station at Champlain Park, at the end of Premiere Road.

See: City opens second sandbag station amid flood concerns

Besides the damage to the park, it’s expected that many lakefront residents are feeling the effects of last weekend’s weather. There’s a stray dock floating near the beach at Memory Tree Park, and all manner of debris floating about and heading to shore.

“I would figure it was up at least six inches,” Noon said of the water. Callander’s Operations crew are keeping an eye on shore conditions.

For updates on flood conditions throughout the region, visit North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority’s website.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca