“It’s worse than we could have imagined.”

Bill Jennings arrived in Bracebridge on Friday and immediately began assessing the damage to his property after historic flooding. He soon realized the hectic drive north might be the least painful part of his long weekend.

“There are about 250 sandbags that have got to be moved at 40 pounds apiece when they’re dry, and we’ve got to rebuild a couple of docks that floated away. And once we get that done we’ll see where we are inside,” he said. “Really, the cleanup is the worst part.”

Jennings is just one of the hundreds who will spend the next few weeks cleaning up and removing heavy sandbags, but admits he’s lucky because his house wasn’t flooded. “There are so many homes that have been damaged.”

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith cautioned those making the trek to cottage country this weekend. “If you’re on the water, even though there are no navigation restrictions anymore, there’s a lot of debris out there, so go slow.” The mayor said that applies to roadways as well. “If you’re on a road that was previously closed, it’s probably not in the best shape right now.”

Residents can pick up a free landfill drop-off voucher at the municipal office on Taylor Court between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday.