Clean up continues at Shetland campground after trailers pulled from rising flood waters

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Dawn-Euphemia public works employees use two tractors to pull a trailer out of the Shetland campground Aug. 24. Township staff pulled 24 trailers to higher ground after the Sydenham overflowed its banks. Photo provided by the Township of Dawn-Euphemia.

Dawn-Euphemia officials say it could be Friday before the hydro returns at the Shetland Campground after the Sydenham River overflowed into the camp leading to massive rescue effort by the township’s staff.

Central Lambton received up to 180 mm of rain Aug. 23 causing flash flooding in the East Lambton communities of Warwick, Watford and the surrounding rural areas. All of that water eventually drained to the Sydenham, pushing the river over its banks across the watershed. That became a big problem at the Shetland campground which was built on the banks of the river.

Dawn-Euphemia Township Administrator Donna Clermont says they were monitoring the rain and notified the campers early Aug. 24 there was a potential for flooding.

Clermont says by early afternoon, the water rose up to five feet in parts of the park.

By 3:30 pm, Hydro One disconnected power to the campground for safety. As soon as it was off, township employees with tractors got to work, hauling 24 of the 30 trailers to higher ground.

It took until 7:30 pm for the final trailer to be moved. Township employees – sometimes wading through waist deep water – needed to use two tractors for the final trailer. The larger unit couldn’t pull in its pop-outs without power and an onboard generator was underwater.

Clermont says there was some water damage to trailers – particularly those which weren’t towed. Photos from the day show at least one car which was submerged by water.

And six days later, the power still is not on in the camp.

“We are in the process of having they hydro and water inspected prior to being turned back on. We are hoping to have both turned back on by Friday,” Clermont said in an email to The Independent.

It will take longer than that to deal with the damage to the park which the township manages.

“We had a chance to survey the damage in the park yesterday and there were picnic tables, porta-johns and all kinds of other things in the bush. The pavilion and canteen look to be fine,” she says.

“Once the park dries out a bit more we are hoping to get equipment in to clean things up – I suspect next week as long as the rain holds off. I suspect most of the damage was water damage to the camper’s trailers and loss of food.

“Thankfully there was no loss of life.” 

Photos provided by the Township of Dawn-Euphemia

Public works staff used tractors to haul trailers to higher ground
A drone shot by Peggy King of the flooded campground Aug. 24
Over five feet of water flooded the campground in some places.
Dawn-Euphemia public works employees use a tractor to pull a trailer out of the Shetland campground Aug. 24.
Dawn-Euphemia public works employees use two tractors to pull a trailer out of the Shetland campground Aug. 24. Township staff pulled 24 trailers to higher ground after the Sydenham overflowed its banks.
The largest trailer took two tractors and a lot of manoeuvring to move it out of the water.
Campers wade through the flood.