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Entire Roseau River First Nation under evacuation order

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WINNIPEG — The entire population of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation was under an evacuation order Saturday evening.

An estimated 200 people left by nightfall and by Monday, the entire community of 800 was told they must leave.

Chief Terry Nelson said he’s worried that some people will refuse to go. Meanwhile the rising Red River is threatening to overwhelm the community’s ring dike. Parts of the First Nation’s main land link, Highway 201, was reported to be under three to four inches of water and the bridge that connects to Letelier is expected to be closed to traffic. The Red crests is expected to crest at Roseau Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the province’s flood fighters turned their attention to trouble spots including The Pas and the Souris area, where the swelling Plum Creek launched sandbagging efforts to save three homes on Saturday and the province hauled out flood-barrier tubes to block in other parts of the creek.

"There’s significant work taking place around the province," said Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton at a daily flood briefing on Saturday. "This is a day-by-day operation now."

The province also issued a flood warning for the Souris River, warning that floods on the river and Plum Creek could match 1976 levels, when both waterways crested at the same time, triggering widespread flooding.

The same situation is expected to occur this year when the Souris River peaks between Sunday and Friday.

For Winnipeg, a spot of good news: flood forecasters again revised their estimates for the city’s flood levels, now pegging the peak to be at or slightly below the levels of 2009’s significant flood. The Red River’s tributaries are shrinking, flood officials said, and weather in the Red River Valley has helped head off a worst-case scenario.

But while Winnipeg’s waterways have been flowing smoothly since ice loosened up last week, the same can’t be said for The Pas, where ice jams on the Saskatchewan River still threaten to send the nearby Carrot River spilling its banks.

Those jams are expected to break up by the end of Sunday, but crews have been dispatched to smash the ice. Sandbagging efforts were underway Saturday near the town to save about 30 homes threatened by the rising water.

History

Updated on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 4:29 PM CDT: Updated with new information

8:51 PM: Update story

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