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Manitoba offers flood assistance to Alberta

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A pickup truck sits on a flood-ravaged street in Reston as volunteer fire crews pump water to the town's outskirts. Reston saw flood waters as high as four feet after it was hit with between six and eight inches of rain on Friday night, affecting around 400 of the town's residents.

GRAEME BRUCE / BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

A pickup truck sits on a flood-ravaged street in Reston as volunteer fire crews pump water to the town's outskirts. Reston saw flood waters as high as four feet after it was hit with between six and eight inches of rain on Friday night, affecting around 400 of the town's residents.

Manitoba flood officials offered to assist flood-devastated areas of Alberta in any way they could today, while expressing their gratitude to their neighbours in Saskatchewan.

"We have offered any and all assistance (to Alberta)," Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton told a news conference. "Dare I say in Manitoba, we have some experience with flooding."

At the same time, Ashton applauded efforts by Saskatchewan to hold back water at two dams that will reduce peak flows on the Saskatchewan River at The Pas by as much as 40 per cent in the coming days.

"I can tell you right now Saskatchewan has been a good neighbour in our preparation for what is going to happen in the RM of Kelsey (which borders The Pas)," Ashton said.

Water levels along the Saskatchewan River in that area are expected to reach 2011 levels. Some evacuations could occur.

"The current estimate is that we’ll see the crest within eight to 12 days," Ashton said.

The potential flooding in The Pas is due to water from heavy rains out west heading Manitoba’s way.

Manitoba has also had its own rainfall problems, particularly in the southwest corner.

The RM of Pipestone declared a state of emergency Sunday after receiving as much as 170 mm of precipitation over the weekend.

More than 70 homes may be flood-damaged due to overland flooding. The municipality was conducting home inspections today to assess the impact.

Local roads in the area have been washed out. So far, no formal evacuations have been carried out.

Meanwhile, the village of Winnipegosis declared a local emergency on Sunday due to heavy rains and overland flooding. The basements of six homes had water in them.

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