Flood evacuees from First Nation near Wawa, Ont., could return home soon

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WAWA, Ont. - Members of a First Nation community in northern Ontario that was partly evacuated after floods destroyed the only road out may be able to start returning home soon.

Wawa Mayor Linda Nowicki (NO-wicky) says dump trucks are scheduled to arrive by Sunday afternoon to finish repairs to the Michipicoten (MISH-a-peh-cotton) First Nation road.

Provincial police say 20 vulnerable members of the community were airlifted to Wawa after the community's connection to the Trans-Canada Highway was cut off.

The highway is partly reopened after it was damaged in sections both north and south of Wawa by a heavy rainstorm Thursday.

Nowicki says it's now expected the highway will be fully open by Wednesday.

She says the town, which remains in a state of emergency, is preparing to apply for disaster relief funds from the province.

The total damage to the town and its roads could bring a hefty pricetag, noting that parts of some local roadways in the town of 2,800 people have been washed away by rising water levels.

"This is well beyond anything that our small community could handle."

Nowicki said several local houses were also damaged in the deluge, while flood waters also rushed through a pair of motel buildings.

"In between those buildings, essentially a river ran through," she said.

Dan Hefkey, the head of Emergency Management Ontario, which has been co-ordinating repair efforts, is set to tour the area Monday by helicopter, she said.

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Wawa, Northern Ontario

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