DELTA BEACH — A handful of Delta Beach residents remain on high alert today wondering if the coming flood waters will force them out of their homes.
With the Assiniboine River now expected to crest at the Portage Diversion late Tuesday or Wednesday morning, the province announced this afternoon that water flow in the diversion will increase throughout today and Tuesday. At the crest, the province indicates water amounts will be approximately 34,000 cubic feet per second flowing through the diversion.
The crest brings the potential for a breach of the east dike at the south basin of Lake Manitoba, which prompted the RM of Portage la Prairie to issue a mandatory evacuation notice for Delta Beach residents west of Highway 240 on Hackberry Avenue West and Far West Sunday evening.
Sixteen permanent homes and over 100 seasonal cottages fell under the evacuation notice.
It’s expected the breach will fill into the marsh and could block the road access to the Delta Beach community, which is located north of Portage la Prairie on the southern tip of the lake.
While most residents on the west side have left their homes and cottages, officials issued a voluntary evacuation notice for those who live east of Canal Street and Cherry Road. Those people on that side of the beach are now in "wait-and-see" mode, understanding that there’s little they can do to prevent the rising water if the breach occurs.
"We were looking forward to a nice summer, but here we go again," offered Betty Granger, who was collecting sandbags for her cottage. "The marsh will probably flood, and with the high lake levels, we’re getting it from both sides now.
"It’s really frustrating. I mean, why do Saskatchewan and the western part of Manitoba get to dump their water on us? They can’t keep using this as a dumping ground."
Granger, like many in the area, nearly lost her cottage to the flood waters in May 2011. This time, she was trying to prepare for the worst should it arrive, despite knowing deep down her hard work may not make a difference.
Further up her street, Dennis Nodrick and Harvey Oakley were enjoying a nice conversation on a sunny deck.
There’s not much they can do now but wait for the water, they said.
"We’ll just wait and see what happens," Nodrick said. "Nothing much else we can do other than hope."