Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Petersfield residents forced out of homes

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Part of the Petersfield area was evacuated on Sunday afternoon to avoid a repeat of the frantic Breezy Point rescue.

The Rural Municipality of St. Andrews placed about 50 properties -- a mix of year-round residences, summer cottages and trailers south of Netley Creek -- under a mandatory evacuation order because the creek had spilled over its banks and submerged roads, St. Andrews emergency co-ordinator Paul Guyader said.

Netley Creek is overflowing because of an ice jam on the Red River near the mouth of the creek -- the same ice jam that led to the evacuation of nine people in the Breezy Point area and another 35 across the river in the RM of St. Clements.

During a normal spring flood, water from a swollen Netley Creek spills into Netley Lake, a large bay of Netley Marsh, the massive wetland at the south end of Lake Winnipeg. But ice on the marsh has forced the creek to swell upstream instead, Guyader said.

"For some reason, we aren't seeing what we expected," he said.

The evacuation order is mandatory because officials wanted to remove residents safely while daylight remains, he added. Early Sunday morning, when Breezy Point was overcome by flood waters, rescue vehicles had to operate in the dark.

On Sunday evening, RCMP had closed off the Hall Road and Boyd Road entrances to the evacuated area.

Only hours earlier, provincial flood officials surmised a Netley Creek flood merely posed a possible threat to the Petersfield area.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 13, 2009 A5

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