Haldimand County declares Significant Weather Event, administration building to remain closed Monday

Haldimand County has declared a Significant Weather Event as a winter storm approaches the region, effective January 17, 2022 at 12 a.m.

01/18/2022 9 a.m. update: There will be NO RECYCLING curbside collection Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 at the following locations:

Oneida area: From Caledonia to Cayuga West of the Grand River between Hwy 3 and Hwy 6 (basic borders are HWY 6, RR 20, Grand River and HWY 3)
Hagersville: All of it plus small country piece up to Nelles Corners
Dunnville: Southwest side of town from South Cayuga St. to Main and West Street to Cedar, as well as a country portion from Haldimand Townline towards town in entirety from Grand River to Lakeshore.
 
Garbage collection WILL still take place. Affected residents whose curbside collection day is normally Tuesday are asked to hold on to their recycling until next Tuesday, Jan. 25.

01/17/2022 6 a.m. update: The Haldimand County Administration Building will be closed for the duration of the business day.

Garbage/recycling curbside collection update: There will be NO garbage/recycling curbside collection on Monday, January 17, 2022 due to inclement weather. Residents whose curbside collection day is normally Monday are asked to hold on to their garbage/recycling until next week (the following Monday, January 24, 2022). Affected residents may set out up to 6 bags of garbage next week and unlimited recycling.

Winter storm conditions are expected to begin tonight with an expected snow accumulation of 25 to 40cm. Local blowing snow is possible and visibility may be reduced. The County is asking residents to follow Environment Canada advice and consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.

During a significant weather event, residents are advised to use extra caution and are reminded that standard timelines for clearing roads and sidewalks may not be met.

The county’s winter control crews are prepared and ready to respond to this winter storm event, however, with the expected snowfall accumulation, residents are asked to be patient and allow staff time to clear main arterial roadways by priority.

Winter control staff have approximately 1500kms of roadways to clear and will be working as quickly as possible to plow all routes.

A plow priority route map and winter parking/snow removal by-law information can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca. Storm-related updates will be posted here and shared via Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: There will be NO garbage/recycling curbside collection on Monday, January 17, 2022 due to inclement weather. Residents whose curbside collection day is normally Monday are asked to hold on to their garbage/recycling until next week (the following Monday, January 24, 2022).

Avoid Recreational Use of Frozen Lakes, Ponds and Rivers in Haldimand County

Haldimand County Emergency Services and The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) are concerned about the increased use of frozen natural water bodies for on-ice activities like skating and ice fishing this winter. Most of these water bodies are not monitored for winter recreation and may not be safe.

Ice fishing is strongly discouraged in areas where ice conditions are not monitored. Anglers are advised to avoid areas downstream of dams and stay off the ice at the mouth of the Grand River.

While colder temperatures allow for some ice formation, daily changes in temperature, wind, precipitation and underwater currents greatly affect ice conditions. This winter has been warmer than usual, with significant fluctuations in temperatures adding to the risk. In particular, moving water can further weaken ice that may otherwise look stable on rivers and creeks.

Accessing frozen natural water bodies puts the public and Haldimand County’s first responders at risk. Anyone who falls through the ice could experience hypothermia and death before emergency services can assist them.

Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery and pose a serious hazard when combined with cold, fast-moving water. Parents are encouraged to remind their children of the risks associated with these hazards and keep pets away from all water bodies.

Select Grand River Conservation Areas, including Belwood Lake, Guelph Lake, Pinehurst Lake and Shade’s Mills, monitor ice conditions. They will offer ice fishing if conditions permit. For the up-to-date status of winter activities in Grand River Conservation Areas, please visit www.grandriver.ca/activitystatus. These conservation and natural areas are subject to provincial COVID-19 guidelines, and operations may change with little notice.

Many watershed municipalities provide safe, outdoor skating and recreation options. Please visit local municipal websites for more details.

This message will remain in effect until Friday, April 1, 2022, and will be updated if necessary.

For further information, refer to GRCA’s website at www.grandriver.ca.

A hand holding a fish, over a fishing hole with cracked ice.

 

911 Basics

Haldimand County Paramedic Services comprises dedicated professionals who work hard to guarantee emergency care for those in need.  We ask all residents to assist us by reviewing when it is appropriate to call 911.

What is 911

911 is a central dispatch for emergency services.  This service allows for all emergency services to be deployed to assure those first responders can deliver emergency services quickly and efficiently.

When to call 911

Knowing when to call 911 can be a difficult decision.  Assessing your situation will make sure that emergency services are available when needed.  Do not hesitate to contact them for immediate help if you are experiencing:

  • Medical emergencies, like chest pain or difficulty breathing,
  • A direct threat to life,
  • An uncontrolled or an uncontained fire.

What happens when you call 911

A 911 dispatcher will answer and ask if you need police, fire or ambulance.  Before calling, be sure to assess your situation to give the dispatcher a complete picture of the circumstances you are experiencing.  That way, they can arrange for the appropriate assistance.

With many people relying on mobile devices, you may need to provide exact location details.  Cell phones do not give the dispatcher’s precise address, and they will only see your general location.  Be prepared to give an address or an intersection.  Other critical information that may be necessary are:

  • Apartment number and entry code,
  • Landmarks,
  • Any obstacles that may prevent entry,
  • Language barriers that could require accommodation.

Be sure to stay on the line to let the 911 dispatcher will let you know when to hang up.

Questions to ask yourself:

Is a person hurt or in danger?

  • Do not hesitate to call 911 if there is difficulty breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, or chest pain.

Is there an emergency where a law enforcement officer, firefighter or medical help is needed?

  • If you are witnessing an assault, or think a driver is impaired, do not intervene and call 911 immediately.

Are there alternative numbers to call to help you assess your situation?

  • There are services available to assist you in determining your required level of care. Telehealth, which offers free medical advice over the phone, or 211 Ontario, a Community and Social Services helpline, can guide you.

Are you still unsure? 

  • Go ahead and call 911.  The call taker will then determine if emergency assistance is needed.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO CALL

Telehealth Ontario:

Toll-free: 1-866-797-0000

Toll-free TTY:1-866-797-0007

211 Ontario:

www.211ontario.ca

Call: 2-1-1

Toll-free: 1-877-330-3213

TTY: 1-844-483-9835

Call 1-(888)-310-1122

File a report online on the O.P.P. website

A Decision Tree Chart for calling 911

 

Haldimand County closely monitoring COVID-19 situation, advises residents of potential service impacts

Haldimand County is closely monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on the local community.

In response to key public health indicators, including a significant rise in case numbers, Haldimand County has taken a number of actions to mitigate negative effects, protect the health of staff and the community and ensure continuity of essential services. Some of these actions include:

  • Requiring remote work where possible and significantly limiting the number of staff present at the Haldimand County Administration Building
  • Requiring appointments for some municipal services and providing online service options
  • Preparing to enact, if required, staffing contingency plans for essential services should the workforce be reduced due to sickness or isolation requirements

While Haldimand County has contingency plans in place for critical services (e.g. Fire/EMS, winter control, water/wastewater, Grandview Lodge), in the event of serious staff shortages, residents are advised that the level of service and response times for less critical services may be affected as the county responds to the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Slower response times are also possible in areas such as winter control. In the case of staffing shortages, priority will be given to main transportation routes. The County appreciates the public’s understanding in this regard and will provide notice if any major impacts are anticipated.

The Haldimand County Administration Building remains open for general customer service walk-ins, however, a number of services – such as planning and licensing – are being offered by appointment only.

Members of the public are strongly encouraged to check the website for a list of service impacts or call Haldimand County Customer Service at 905-318-5932 prior to their visit to confirm whether an appointment is required.

Many municipal services do not require an in-person visit to the Administration Building. A list of alternate service options is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19 under the ‘County Service Options‘ tab.

Updates will be shared at HaldimandCounty.ca/COVID-19 as they become available.

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

New COVID-19 safety measures in effect at county arenas

In alignment with the province’s latest public health measures and reduced capacity limits for indoor public settings, Haldimand County is implementing a number of changes to arena protocols effective immediately.

Members of the public who plan to visit an arena over the next few weeks are advised of the following changes:

  • Food/drink concessions and vending machines are NOT permitted to operate under the new provincial regulations
  • NO outside food and drink whatsoever may be brought into a county arena under the new provincial regulations (with the exception of water bottles for on-ice sport participants)

Further, the following protocols remain in effect:

  • Every person in the arena is required to wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin. Exemptions include children under two (2) years of age and those who cannot wear a mask for a medical reason.
  • Individuals 12 years old and above must provide proof of vaccination to enter an arena, with limited exceptions. As of January 4, 2022, only vaccine certificates with an official QR code – shown on a mobile device or printed out – will be accepted as valid proof of vaccination as per provincial regulations.
  • All arena visitors must complete the online Arena Contact Tracing Form prior to entry.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in scheduled arena programming but are urged to remain vigilant and follow public health protocols, especially with the emergence of new variants of concern.

Visitors are asked to be respectful of staff implementing these provincial requirements.

More information on arena programs and protocols, including a full schedule of holiday programming, is available on the county website at HaldimandCounty.ca/recreation-facilities.

Two pairs of women's figure skates on ice.

Haldimand County, agricultural community celebrate installation of first Farm 911 sign

Earlier this month, Haldimand County and the local agriculture community celebrated the installation of the first Farm 911 sign.

Individuals associated with the farm 911 Emily Project stand beside a newly installed yellow Farm 911 sign. From left to right:rogram sponsors Darcy Johnson (Erie Mutual), Richard Blyleven (Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario local chapter), and Councillor John Metcalfe (Council representative for Haldimand County’s Agriculture Advisory Committee). Henk Lise is also the Chair of Haldimand County’s Agriculture Advisory Committee and President of the Haldimand Federation of Agriculture.

Property owners Henk and Jackie Lise celebrated this initiative alongside program sponsors Darcy Johnson (Erie Mutual), Richard Blyleven (Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario local chapter), and Councillor John Metcalfe (Council representative for Haldimand County’s Agriculture Advisory Committee). Henk Lise is also the Chair of Haldimand County’s Agriculture Advisory Committee and President of the Haldimand Federation of Agriculture.

The Farm 911 Emily Project offers owners of rural, agricultural land the opportunity to purchase 911 signage for their farm entrances to help first responders locate individuals/incidents in an emergency.

Through this program, properties will be identified by yellow and black signs to distinguish between vacant properties and properties with dwellings. This is so first responders are aware the incident they are called to may not be tied to a home or farm building. This project will operate on a voluntary basis for existing vacant farm entrances.

“This program is such an important initiative as it helps promote on farm safety. By installing these signs property owners will improve Haldimand County’s Emergency Services ability to locate on farm accidents, with the objective of preventing tragedies in the farming community,” remarked Henk Lise, Chair of Haldimand County’s Agriculture Advisory Committee.

It is anticipated that sponsorships received from Erie Mutual Insurance, the local Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario and Haldimand Federation of Agriculture will cover the costs of 35 signs (first come, first serve) for 2021 and potentially 55 signs for 2022.

If funding is fully subscribed to, successful applicants will be required to pay a fee of $109.61 (2021 fee) which is to be submitted along with their application). The application will be reviewed by staff and if no concerns are identified, a new civic address will be issued.

Individuals who wish to participate are encouraged to submit an application form available online at HaldimandCounty.ca/The-Farm-911-Emily-Project or contact Planning@HaldimandCounty.on.ca for additional information.

Lake Erie Flood Warning and River Watch in Effect

A Flood Warning is in effect for the Lake Erie shoreline. With high winds and waves in the forecast, flooding is expected to impact low lying areas along the Grand River downstream of Dunnville Dam, in the community of Port Maitland, and along the shoreline and could reach Flood Zone 4.

Water levels are now forecasted to rise by 1.8 metres above the current level to 176.3 meters (IGLD 1985) within the Grand River and Long Point Region Conservation Authority’s watersheds. Peak levels are currently expected to occur Saturday evening. Wave heights are expected to reach 1.6 meters along the shoreline.

The combination of snowmelt and rainfall on saturated or frozen ground is expected to increase river flows, resulting in flooding in low-lying areas adjacent to rivers and streams typically prone to flooding.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be closely monitoring conditions and roads along the lakeshore. Members of the public are urged to stay away from all shoreline areas experiencing strong wave action and elevated water levels. The public is also advised to use 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.

Residents should pay close attention to changing weather conditions and watch for updated flood messages. A Flood Zone Map, flood guide for lakeshore property owners and other emergency preparedness resources can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods. Residents should be familiar with their insurance coverage and contact their insurance provider if they have any questions.

This Flood Warning is in effect until 12:00 p.m. on Monday, December 13, 2021 and will be updated as needed.

Haldimand County Fire Department issues important wood stove and fireplace safety reminders

It’s that time of year when we love to cuddle up in front of a cozy fire and Haldimand County Fire Department is reminding residents of how they can safely enjoy their wood stoves and fireplaces. Knowing what to burn and how to burn it matters.

Before thinking about using your wood stove or fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned. Chimney fires can burn explosively and often go undetected. If you notice the following from your chimney: a loud cracking and popping noise, a lot of dense smoke, and an intense hot smell, it may be at risk for fire and should be serviced immediately. Preventative care can reduce the risk of fire.

When using your fireplace or wood stove, use only dry seasoned wood cured for at least six months. Burning freshly cut or even partially seasoned wood will cause creosote, a highly combustible residue, to build-up which could lead to a chimney fire. Other items that cause creosote build-up and should never be burned include wrapping paper, plastic, manure, plywood, or any wood that is coated, painted, pressure-treated, wet, rotted, diseased, or moldy. In summary, only well-seasoned dry wood and kindling should be used in your fireplace or wood stove.

Here are some simple tips that can increase your fire safety:

  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace.
  • Never leave children unattended by a fire.
  • Have a fire escape plan for your house and review it regularly with your family.
  • Keep the doors of your wood-burning appliance closed unless loading or stoking the fire.
  • Keep flammable items (curtains, furniture, newspapers, books, etc.) away from your appliance.
  • Regularly remove ashes into a covered metal container, stored outdoors on a non-flammable surface.
  • Have your chimney, flue and appliance inspected and cleaned annually.

Why is this important? In Canada, there are approximately 2,000 fires annually that are directly linked to heat generating appliances, including wood stoves, fireplaces and chimneys. From 2010-2019, these fires lead to 377 deaths and 3,048 injuries.

Haldimand County Fire Department want your families to be safe and to remember, “No Fire is a Safe Fire.”

For more information on wood stove and fireplace safety, visit https://www.haldimandcounty.ca/fire-services/fire-safety-education/, or call your local fire department.

Flood Warning in effect for Lake Erie shoreline

A Flood Warning is in effect for the Lake Erie shoreline. With high winds and waves in the forecast, flooding is expected to impact low lying areas along the shoreline and could reach Flood Zone 2.

Water levels are now forecasted to rise by 1.36m above the current level to 175.82 meters (IGLD 1985) within the Long Point Region Conservation Authority’s watershed. Peak levels are currently expected to occur Monday evening. Wave heights are expected to reach 2 meters along the shoreline.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be closely monitoring conditions and roads along the lakeshore. Members of the public are urged to stay away from all shoreline areas experiencing strong wave action and elevated water levels.

Residents should pay close attention to changing weather conditions and watch for updated flood messages. A Flood Zone Map, flood guide for lakeshore property owners and other emergency preparedness resources can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

This Flood Warning is in effect until 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 and will be updated as needed.

Farm 911 Emily Project officially launched in Haldimand

Haldimand County is pleased to announce the launch of the Farm 911 Emily Project civic addressing initiative.

The program offers owners of rural, agricultural land the opportunity to purchase 911 signage for their farm entrances to help first responders locate individuals/incidents in an emergency.

The Farm 911 Emily Project is inspired by Emily Trudeau, who tragically passed away after being involved in a farm accident in Hastings County, Ontario, where first responders had difficulties finding her location.

“This program will assist first responders in identifying the site of a medical or rescue incident more efficiently. When a farm incident occurs it can take first responders longer to locate the property if there is no civic address,” said Jason Gallagher, Haldimand’s Manager of Emergency Services and Fire Chief.

“Although we have not had any local tragedies due to an inability to find an incident on vacant property, we hope these measures will ensure we continue on this course,” Gallagher added.

Haldimand County would like to acknowledge the Haldimand County Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Haldimand Federation of Agriculture (HFA) for bringing this program to the attention of Council for the benefit of agricultural property owners.

In addition, Haldimand County is pleased to partner with Erie Mutual Insurance Company and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (local chapter) who have provided sponsorship funds to cover the costs of 35 signs (first come, first serve) for 2021.

This project will operate on a voluntary basis for existing vacant farm entrances.

Individuals who wish to participate are encouraged to submit an application form available online at HaldimandCounty.Ca/The-Farm-911-Emily-Project or contact planning@HaldimandCounty.on.ca for additional information.

If funding is fully subscribed to, successful applicants will be required to pay a fee of $109.61* which is to be submitted along with their application (*2021 fee).

The application will be reviewed by staff and if no concerns are identified, a new civic address will be issued.

Through this program, properties will be identified by yellow and black signs to distinguish between vacant properties and properties with dwellings. This is so first responders are aware the incident they are called to may not be tied to a home or farm building.

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