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RMs fear "controlled breakout" could flood more homes than province expects

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WINNIPEG -- The number of homes potentially flooded out by the Hoop and Holler Cut may be well above the 150 projected by the province.

Provincial officials may cut Provincial Road 331 at Hoop and Holler Bend, southeast of Portage la Prairie, as soon as noon today to allow part of the Assiniboine River's flow into the Elm River and on to the La Salle watershed.

The province said it believes this move would only flood 150 homes.

But the RM of Portage la Prairie has already issued a voluntary evacuation for 150 homes -- and no less than 120 in the RM of Macdonald have been warned to get ready for a possible evacuation.

Residents as far southeast as Starbuck and La Salle are concerned about the flow of the water.

Residents close to the proposed cut are furious about the short notice they received about the need to evacuate -- and the fact they learned the news from neighbours or the media, not provincial or municipal officials.

The province will not make the cut if they can force enough water through the Portage Diversion, which carries Assiniboine water to Lake Manitoba.

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