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Overnight thunderstorms batter province

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A man tries to save a vehicle from flood water at the corner of Evergreen Place and Willowdale Crescent in Brandon Tuesday evening.

IAN HITCHEN/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

A man tries to save a vehicle from flood water at the corner of Evergreen Place and Willowdale Crescent in Brandon Tuesday evening.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said local states of emergency are now in place in several municipalities in southwestern Manitoba, including the RM of Wallace (which includes the town of Virden), the RM of Albert, the RM of Edward and the RM of Pipestone, which includes the town of Reston.

"There are currently 28 individuals being evacuated from the personal care home in Reston," Ashton told the legislature this afternoon.

The minister said a portion of Highway 2 and several municipal roads in the southwest are closed due to overland flooding.

"Provincial and municipal officials are working to assess damages and reopen roads," Ashton said. "Provincial emergency management officials are in contact with communities to ensure that they have the resources they need."

Ashton said provincial flood forecasters are closely monitoring water levels on the Saskatchewan River as water from recent torrential rains in Alberta makes its way to Manitoba.

As well, officials are concerned about "hot spots" along the Souris River near Melita, he said.

Streets flood in Brandon

In Brandon, the downpour flooded a number of streets, including portions of McDiarmid Drive, Richmond Avenue just west of 18th Street, Willowdale Crescent, and Victoria Avenue at Eighth Street.

At the airport weather station, 37 mm of rain was recorded, bringing the four-day total to 134 mm in Brandon. That about 5¼ inches. Environment Canada said that some areas of the city reported up to 70 mm last night.

Several western Manitoba communities were without power overnight. Manitoba Hydro said. Areas of Brandon, Pipestone, Elkhorn, and Sinclair were without power. Crews are working to return electricity to affected areas.

Lightning strikes Winnipeg home

In Winnipeg, the storm Tuesday created some anxious moments for a family in East Kildonan when their home was hit by lightning, fire officials said today.

The small, grey home in the 200 block of Linden Ave., didn't appear to be damaged from the outside, however, a neighbour said that there was a fire in the attic that caused heavy smoke damage.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service estimated the damage at $100,000. There were no injuries.

As for what's to come: Environment Canada is calling for a mix of sun and cloud in the capital region today, with a daytime high of 27 C. The winds will generate from the west at 20 km/h this afternoon and there is a slight chance of showers (30 per cent) late in the day.

Tonight, that same chance of showers continues, with the low dropping to 17 C.

For Thursday -- the 2013 regular season opener for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the official grand opening of Investors Group Field -- Environment Canada is forecasting mainly sunny skies, strong winds and a high of 27 C.

Source: Environment Canada, Manitoba Ag Weather Program

History

Updated on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM CDT: Updates with information from Reston area.

11:26 AM: Adds graph.

2:46 PM: Local states of emergency are now in place in several municipalities in southwestern Manitoba.

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