INMATES at Rockwood Institution are making sandbags in preparation for spring flooding in southern Manitoba.
On Tuesday, Rockwood spokeswoman Leah Grove said 65 inmates are filling sandbags for the RMs of Cartier, St. Francois Xavier and Headingley.
She said the goal is to make 100,000 sandbags over the next two weeks. The bags will be stored at Rockwood, a minimum-security jail north of Winnipeg, until needed by the municipalities.
The inmates are using a sandbagging machine to fill the bags. "They're really glad to help out," she said.
Grove said the Correctional Service of Canada will continue to be in communication with Manitoba's Emergency Measures Organization as there is a possibility the project could be extended beyond the planned two weeks, depending on spring flood conditions and the need for more sandbags.
There is also the possibility a limited number of inmates could be called upon to build sandbag dikes, but that entails having proper security in place.
Meanwhile, the province's scheduled flood briefing for today has been put on hold until a prairie snowstorm passes and forecasters get more information from the United States about the storm's impact on the flood situation.
Parts of western and southern Manitoba were to see about 10 centimetres or more of snow late Tuesday and early today.
In North Dakota, forecasters are predicting up to 30 centimetres of snow and rain to fall on the eastern region of the state through today.