Thirty-five residents in the community of Petersfield were forced to evacuate as rising flood waters threatened their homes early this morning.
The evacuations took place at around 3 a.m., when water from the nearby Netley Creek started approaching the tops of the dikes overnight. Tiger dams were brought in to help hold back the water, as officials had been monitoring the situation since Tuesday evening.
When the water started crossing over Jenny Drive, the stretch of road that was the biggest concern for area residents, officials made the decision to be proactive and get people out of their homes.
"They wouldn’t be able to get in or out of their homes, so we decided to make the call," said Darcy Hardman, emergency measures coordinator with the R.M. of St. Andrews. "The water was already rushing over the road at 4 a.m."
Five people went to stay in a hotel, while the others stayed with family and friends.
The stretch of Jenny Drive is subject to flooding every spring. A few residences did take on some water this time around, but the damage was limited to flooded yards and lower-set garages.
No homes saw any flooding this year, Hardman indicated.
Water levels in the nearby creek continued to rise overnight as the spring runoff coupled with an ice jam on the Red River north of Selkirk continued to cause concern. The ice jam broke up this morning, and the water level has come down, Hardman said.
"The ice jam has started to move further north into the Netley Marsh area," he said. "We’re seeing the water drop, so we stopped putting up the Tiger dams. Now we’re going to go back and assist residents with pumping some of the water out near the homes."
Crews spent much of today pumping water out of yards back into the creek. Residents are scheduled to be back in their homes later this afternoon.