The decision to stay in an evacuation zone is never an easy one and it comes with its own set of challenges.
Chantal Tycholiz and her family made the decision to stay in their home when the evacuation order was issued on Friday, May 13.
"We're a family of four with pets, and I didn't think my 120 pound dog would be accepted at the [Evacuation Shelter]," said Tycholiz noting that her home wasn't at risk of flooding.
"We don't have any family in Kenora, although we did have numerous friends offer up their home to us, but we just felt more comfortable to stay at home and think outside the box and try and decide how are we going to get to work and school every day trying to keep our kids lives normal," added Tycholiz in conversation with KenoraOnline on Friday, May 20.
The decision to stay meant the family of four would have to commute through a number of sections of flooded road to make it into town for work and school.
"We have teenagers, so changing their routine is a little bit of a challenge. We threw hip waders on them, parked our vehicle on the town side and we were dropped off at the water every morning and walked across the water to our vehicle," says Tycholiz.
The family has been lucky enough to hitch a ride through the floodwaters with people on occasion, who were okay risking their vehicles driving through water, which according to Tycholiz was 19'' in some places.
She added that the family made it to work five out of five days last week and is taking the experience in stride.
"My daughter, who works an after-school job, and gets off at 10:00 PM, so we were left walking in pitch black with only the crickets and frogs chirping around us. We made it across, it was great. A good experience for them," stated Tycholiz with a chuckle.
The family, who isn't originally from Kenora, moved to the area in 2001 and say this is the first time they've been stranded.
On Friday, the City of Kenora built up a section of East Melick Road opening the road and allowing a number of residents to return to their homes after a week away.
"I was really happy to hear that [Friday] morning that they are advancing with, you know, fixing that part of the road. Even having one accessible road to get out would be fantastic," noted Tycholiz.
The city says they will focus on rebuilding the road in the flooded area of East Melick Road which is 500m north of Bells Point Road. That work is expected to take one week.
"There's been a lot of people that did not evacuate. A lot of people that are elderly live out there. I know the community has banded together and supported these people that have stayed and especially the people whose homes have flooded."
"The community has gotten together to really support them. Nobody wants to leave their home, if you leave your home, you're giving up and we're Kenora people so we don't give up on things we just pursue," added Tycholiz.
Jordan Rivers spoke with Chantal Tycholiz on the morning of Friday, May 20, 2022.