The OPP has confirmed that a three-year-old boy is missing in the Orangeville, Ont., area after a van left a roadway and wound up in the Grand River as southern Ontario communities deal with flooding.
Dufferin OPP said the child slipped from his mother's arms as she was getting out of the submerged van.
Heavy rains and a deep thaw are behind the flooding and high water along rivers and streams across southern Ontario, with the Grand River watershed seeing the worst of the effects so far.
Boy swept away in river
Dufferin OPP said that around 2:30 a.m. ET a female driver went past a roadblock put in place because of flooding. Her van was swept into the river near Orangeville. As the woman was exiting the vehicle, the child slipped out of her arms. The mother was taken to hospital.
The intensity of the fast-moving river swept the vehicle downstream about two kilometres toward a bridge at Line 109 and Tenth Line to its resting point.
OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell told CBC News that "it's an ongoing police investigation.
"We have our OPP emergency response team walking the bank and searching the area."
A state of emergency was declared Wednesday in Brantford, after parts of the city were evacuated due to flooding along the Grand River.
"The levels and height of the water are something that have not been seen in this community in a very, very long time," said Brantford Mayor Chris Friel.
The flooding is expected to get worse downstream from Brantford later today, in places like Six Nations and Cayuga.
Officials said ice is blocking water and forcing the heavier flows to find ways around the jams.
In Six Nations, the elected council said it convened its emergency officials and will be monitoring the potential for flooding.
Six Nations fire officials visited residents along 744 West to Bateman and helped anyone who wanted to voluntarily relocate.
They also closed roads: Fourth Line from Seneca Road to Bateman Line, and Mohawk Road to Third Line. The council is monitoring water levels around the Chiefswood Bridge.
Brantford evacuation orders
In Brantford, an emergency announcement Wednesday morning noted there is ongoing flooding in the neighbourhoods of Holmedale, Old West Brant and Eagle Place. Anyone living in those areas was urged to evacuate their homes.
"It's important to keep in mind the levels are very much tied to the ice jam," said Grand River Conservation Authority engineering director Dwight Boyd.
"How it erodes or releases will determine how quickly levels will recede."
He said levels were stable as of 11 a.m. but that they would remain high through the day and into tomorrow.
Police are going door-to-door in the affected neighbourhoods, asking people to leave immediately.
"Buses are available to help evacuate @ Eagle Ave & Foster St., Baldwin & Erie Ave, Erie & Aberdeen Ave. Those requiring shelter can go to Woodman Comm. Centre," the tweet advised.
Jeff Whitbread was one of the residents who left his home. He told CBC News that the process seemed to be handled well.
"The police and services have been around our neighbourhood and talked to all the residents and its very calm. It seems to be pretty well organized.
"We're just going to pick up a few things and head on out to a friend's house."
The Grand River Conservation Authority said Wednesday morning "an ice jam upstream of Parkhill Dam released at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. When this ice jam released, it sent a surge of water downstream."© Aaron Vincent Elkain/Canadian Press Brantford residents were being evacuated due to flooding along the Grand River after an ice jam upstream of Parkhill Dam sent a surge of water downstream.
'You certainly don't want to see anyone get hurt'
The agency warned the public in a post on its website to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies.
"Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and, when combined with current weather conditions, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all watercourses and off frozen water bodies, which will be extremely unsafe as a result of the warming trend."
Robert Putt, a resident in the evacuation area, said he woke up around 2 a.m. to the sound of trees breaking and snapping. When he got up this morning the water level had increased by about a metre.
"You're hoping not to lose property or value or have things damaged, you certainly don't want to see anyone get hurt," he said.
Putt said he's lived in his house for almost 30 years and has never seen flooding like this.
"It's a large amount of water and large amount of ice."
The following schools are closed because of the flooding:
Updated flood warnings
The Grand River Conservation Authority updated its flood warning Wednesday for townships and cities including:
In London, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority has issued a flood warning and the city closed several roads due to rising water levels.
The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority said the watershed received 10 mm of rain since 4 a.m. Wednesday and another 10 mm was forecast before the end of the day.
Source : http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/msn/3-year-old-missing-as-southern-ontario-cities-cope-with-floods/ar-BBJq7qd