Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No relief for Wanasing Beach

Cottagers busy trying to protect their properties

  • Print

WANASING BEACH, MAN. -- On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the water licked the top of the shore but, calmed by the sun, sat in its banks.

But residents in Wanasing Beach know it won't stay that way forever.

Over the weekend, about a dozen intrepid volunteers in the cosy community in the RM of Victoria Beach took to the banks, toting sandbags and yards of thick geotechnical fabric.

Their goal: to shape the sandbags into a protective fortress around the vulnerable sand dike that protects about 55 lakefront cottages -- and more hidden in the green woods behind them -- from the swollen lake's incursions. "All it takes is a wind out of the northeast to push the waves into the dike," said Bryan Peters, who has taken the helm of the volunteer effort. "And the dike won't withstand much more."

That is despite the dike being brand new. Last October, Wanasing Beach was hammered by the weather bomb that ravaged the shores of Lake Winnipeg. The province responded by building a sand dike that stretches the length of the beach -- or what used to be the beach in summers when the lake hadn't risen so high.

But now, many residents' property lines are underwater and dozens of metres of beach are long since submerged. So when a storm struck two weeks ago, the waves devoured chunks of the sandy dike. It now wends moth-bitten along the water's edge, eroded where the waves crashed into its walls. "It's good for holding back water. It's not good for holding back waves," Peters said.

And cottagers fear that if the wind picks up, then worse damage could be on the way. "If we don't have help, we could end up like Delta Beach," said one cottager, who frets about the future of the home her family has held there for over 50 years.

For Peters, the president of the Wanasing Beach Cottagers Association, the flood fight of 2011 has marked a turning point for the community. Many residents in Wanasing Beach are seniors, he said, and the close-knit crowd used to devote most of its organizational energy to planning games for kids at summer picnics.

Now, these same cottagers are learning to fight a flood. It hasn't always been easy, Peters said, but by Sunday afternoon the group had hit its stride. The sandbag wall against the dike sat 15 rows deep while about a dozen neighbours rolled up their sleeves to press the bags into place. That wall will help stop angry waves from eating the dike away when the next storm comes, they hope.

Wanasing Beach cottagers plan to continue the sandbagging effort next week. Volunteers are welcome, Peters said, as the scope of the work may yet prove a challenge -- but volunteers will do whatever it takes to save their homes, they said.

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 13, 2011 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Perry Bellegarde elected as national chief of Assembly of First Nations

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you watch The Interview?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google