Head, Clara and Maria Local History
Hydro to Listen More to Water Level Worries
Pembroke Daily Observer, July 27, 1995, p. 3
Full Text
Hydro to Listen More to Water Level Worries


Staff Writer

HEAD, CLARA, & MARIA — An Ontario Hydro official has promised to listen more carefully to people along the Ottawa River who complain of grossly uneven water levels.

But Richard Penn told a meeting of concerned residents the weird levels are a natural aberration and there's not much that can be done about it.

"They said 90 per cent of this can't be fixed — it has to be coped with the way farmers must cope with the weather," said Head, Clara and Maria Township Reeve Lita Therrien.

Officials promised to bend an ear to concerns at a meeting of worried residents — many of them riverside business owners — organized by Reeve Therrien.

"The water level is very, very low in this area," she said. Complaints from anxious residents prompted her to contact Hydro officials.

Officials from Hydro and the Ministry of Natural Resources addressed questions from the public at a two-hour Monday night meeting in Stonecliffe.

Reeve Therrien said about 50 people were there, including people from Westmeath and the Pembroke area. Being downstream from the dam near Rolphton, they suffer from the opposite problem to township residents — water levels that are too high.

"For the most part the people there were business people, mostly tourist operators concerned about the effects on their particular businesses," she said. And those effects have been extreme in some cases. For example, Doug Antler, who runs the Kingfisher Lodge in Reeve Therrien's township, says he's had losses of around $20,000 because low water has left him with no way to launch boats.

"He really felt the blow," Reeve Therrien said. "I would use the word devastating .... He could leave the area if it carries on."

What the officials proposed is a call-conference setup, Ms. Therrien explained.

When uneven levels strike, tourist operators will be able to get Hydro officials on the line for a teleconference and some action could be taken.

But she stressed officials say this kind of strange water-level behavior is a product of unusual weather conditions this year — the kind of strange conditions that strike once every 15 years or so.

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July 27, 1995
Township Collection
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Hydro to Listen More to Water Level Worries