Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Cottagers fear coming Lake Manitoba flood

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RESIDENTS and cottage owners at Twin Lakes Beaches on Lake Manitoba fear their properties will go under water soon as the province pumps in even more water from the swollen Assiniboine River.

They say they are still recovering from last October's storm that wiped out a large part of the shoreline.

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"If the lake gets as high as they're anticipating, three-quarters of my property, if not all of it, will be under water," Twin Lakes Beaches resident Fred Pisclevich said Tuesday.

The province predicts the water level at the south end of Lake Manitoba will rise to 815.5 feet above sea level in coming weeks, about three feet above average, causing the lake to spill into nearby Delta Marsh and Lake Francis, which is behind Pisclevich's property.

The water is rising as quickly as it is because flood water from the Assiniboine is being channelled into Lake Manitoba via the Portage Diversion.

Until a few days ago, the Portage Diversion was handling 19,000 cubic feet per second of water. The province wants to increase that flow to 34,000 cfs in coming days.

"What's irritating about this is that for three months they've been putting water in this lake and they have not come around and talked to anybody," Pisclevich said. "We've heard absolutely nothing."

There are about 20 year-round residents and the rest of the properties are seasonal cottages.

Cottager Alice Dent said she believes her cottage of 45 years will be lost to flooding.

"The whole place is going to be under water soon," she said. "What's the government doing? They sacrificed us. I don't know which way to even turn now."

Dent said she's already removed valuables from the cottage in the event the worst happens.

"It's tough," she said. "The cottage has been a family gathering place. My dad built it. It's just really, really tough. Our whole life has been up there and we've been really privileged, I guess, to have had it. But now it looks like it's done."

Twin Lakes Beaches resident Gary Grubert said he's been given no information about sandbagging to protect homes and cottages.

"Meanwhile, we're stuck between two lakes and no one seems to be doing anything," he said. "When you look at the projection charts as to what will be flooded, we're going to be an island three kilometres away from any dry land."

Delta resident Don Clarkson of the Delta Beach Association said he and his wife Cindy were put evacuation alert Monday and are planning to leave their home in a day or so.

"We're going to pack and figure out how many family members we can impose upon," he said.

Clarkson said his lakefront home should be high and dry; it's the access road that will flood when the water rises, likely from the Portage Diversion spilling over.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

On the web:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/special/flood/interlake/Lake-Manitoba-to-see-highest-levels-in-50-years-province-121513374.html

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2011 A6

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