May 27, 2015


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Some riverside homes unprotected

Municipal leaders are urging residents to sandbag before disaster hits.

St. Andrews Reeve Don Forfar said he can’t understand why some River Road residents between Lower Fort Garry and Selkirk haven’t bothered to protect their homes with sandbags yet. He’s telling all residents to prepare for the worst, since no one can predict the danger or how much the Red River will flood.

Rick Praznik hopes this raised gravel road separating the Red River, left, and homes, right, will help his neighbours down River Road avoid any more flooding. His house is far enough away and is raised, but two of his neighbours had their homes flooded by the ice jam last week.

MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Rick Praznik hopes this raised gravel road separating the Red River, left, and homes, right, will help his neighbours down River Road avoid any more flooding. His house is far enough away and is raised, but two of his neighbours had their homes flooded by the ice jam last week. Photo Store

The only evidence that one low-lying River Road home was prepared for an imminent flood was a jet ski parked at the front steps. Icy river water has already submerged parts of the property’s otherwise undefended backyard.

The Red River will crest north of Winnipeg between April 5 and 19.

"If you drive along there you’ll see home sandbagged, home sandbagged, home not sandbagged — (it leaves you) scratching your head," Forfar said. "There are always some people who wait until the very last second. I guess it’s human nature, but I don’t know why they do what they do."

In the meantime, Forfar said the municipality is stockpiling sandbags in case more residents decide to protect their homes or others need reinforcements or backup.

He said anyone who needs sandbags delivered should call 492-8962.

River Road resident Rick Praznik said he’s not concerned flood water will lap at his doorstep, as he stood on a gravel dike built this week after a recent ice jam flooded two of his neighbours’ homes.

Praznik said the reinforcement will likely be more than enough to defend the remaining homes that sit atop a hill. The gravel dike is already surrounded by flooded frozen culverts on one side, and thick slabs of frozen river ice on the other.

"If I go under, all of Winnipeg goes under," he said.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca
 

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