Spring flooding of the Albany River has caused Kashechewan’s sewage system to back up, flooding basements and contaminating the water system.

Those affected were flown to Moosonee April 23 as a precautionary measure.

“The homes were flooded with the back up of the sewer,” said Deputy Chief Rebecca Friday, who told the Nation that things were relatively under control. “We still have a boil-water advisory and that’s been on a continuing basis from a couple of years ago.”

Sewage seeped into the reserve’s water pump house. Early testing showed that the water was contaminated and the pump house was shut down.

Bottled water was shipped to the community and efforts were made to accommodate people in Moosonee in private homes and hotels.

In all, close to 200 of the 1,400 residents on the west coast of James Bay were evacuated.

Friday said people could return to their homes after May 6.