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More than 100 Peguis residents affected by flooding

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Residents of Peguis First Nation pass sandbags to each other Sunday in an effort to fight flooding that threatens their community.

A flood fighting work crew sandbags the home of Emergency co-ordinator William Sutherland on Peguis First Nation Reserve Sunday April 27, 2014 as the Fisher River spills over its banks.

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Residents of Peguis First Nation pass sandbags to each other Sunday in an effort to fight flooding that threatens their community. A flood fighting work crew sandbags the home of Emergency co-ordinator William Sutherland on Peguis First Nation Reserve Sunday April 27, 2014 as the Fisher River spills over its banks. Photo Store

PEGUIS FIRST NATION — Flood water from the Fisher River may be going down here today but the community is on high alert.

Sandbags and water-filled tiger dams are being placed around vulnerable homes in the community, which is located 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

William Sutherland, the community's emergency co-ordinator, said 115 residents have been forced from their homes, up from 34 on Saturday.

"We prioritized families with young children, the elderly and people with medical issues," he said.

"We still have multiple road closures especially on the north side... This year we had extensive cold weather and abnormally thick ice on the river.

"We knew this would happen — we live here."

Sutherland said there are fears the river level could rise if there is more precipitation, along with continued overland flooding.

Sutherland said governments have plans to move people, make the main road on either side of the river the permanent dike, and build high ring dikes around some but that is still in future.

Sutherland said the evacuation was co-ordinated by the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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