Homes and businesses swallowed up by flood waters in Bala

News source from CTV News

Kim Phillips, CTV Barrie

Published Thursday, May 2, 2019 7:23PM EDT

Last Updated Thursday, May 2, 2019 7:30PM EDT

“We wanted to buy something on the water, and now we’re in the water.”

Bill Bonnett recently retired and says he’s never seen anything like the flooding happening in Bala.

Some homes and businesses are partially submerged, becoming part of the river as flood water swallows everything in sight.

Bala flooding 2019

“Inside here we’re holding pretty much at the 15-inch mark. Which is what it was at yesterday,” says Martin Ford, owner at the Lakeside Bala restaurant.

Floating pots and pans have replaced patrons. Ford estimates the damage and lost revenue at around $50,000. “Somebody’s not going to eat twice as much food at your restaurant to make up for the loss, so it’s a loss. A permanent loss,” he says.

Bala Flooding 2019

Most in the area have seen flooding before, most recently in 2013, but all agree it has never been this devastating.

The owners of at least one home in Bala have been ordered out as fears rise that the entire structure could topple into the Moon River.

Bala Flood 2019

Further north, water levels on Lake Muskoka threaten to keep rising.

Lake Muskoka officials have closed Mortimer’s Point Road as it becomes one with the lake, and the nearby marina has become a collection point for floating debris. “There’s a laundry basket, life jackets, everything you can imagine that’s in somebody’s boathouse, including a hot tub down on the dock too,” says Dan Mortimer.

Bala flooding 2019

Mayor Phil Harding says even though the Moon River is showing signs of stabilization, it will be some time before things get back to normal. “What has taken seven days to rise, may take three to four weeks to go back down.”

The mayor plans to speak with Premier Ford at a special meeting on Friday about the devastation and future plans for the watershed.

– With files from Beatrice Vaisman, CTV News

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