News Kashechewan repatriation could begin next week SHARE ON: Nick Birnie, staff Monday, May. 13th, 2019 Photo of Kapuskasing Airport Photo Supplied Kashechewan evacuees could soon be making their way home as early as next week. According to Kapuskasing general manager of protective services Pat Kennedy, the river is the key. “Right now obviously the number one thing for repatriation is the river.” Kennedy says the Kashechewan Deputy Chief Hosea Wesley is heading back to the First Nation community along with its Fire Chief tomorrow to further assess the area. He says at the moment the ice has broken up well, although there is an area within the community where a manhole overflowed, forcing them to call for a sample to make sure there is no contamination. Kennedy says they are also having water treatment plant issues at this time. “There is a pump that is, seems to be showing signs of failing, which is throwing off their scada, which is basically the system that automates the water treatment plant. So there is an engineer going up this week that will try and fine tune it until they can get a new pump to replace the one that’s failing.” Meanwhile, the evacuees are doing well it would seem in town, although they have needed a helping hand when it comes to which service to use. “We meet with liaisons everyday, so we try and help them to coach their people to encourage them, because we have a clinic here (Civic Centre) that’s open Monday to Friday five (am) to nine (pm). So for all the non-urgent, like changing a band-aid and stuff like that we are trying to encourage them to come to the civic centre rather than go to the emergency room.” Kennedy says they are expecting to start repatriating Kashechewan with return flights in the next coming week.