Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Premier in drenched southwest

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RESTON -- Premier Greg Selinger commended emergency crews and community members on Monday for their hard work in dealing with damage from two major rainstorms that caused flash flooding and plunged the RM of Pipestone into a state of emergency.

"This demonstrates just the local resiliency of Manitoba communities when they can pull together during a disaster situation and help each other out, that's something we can all be proud of," Selinger said during his tour of Reston's flood damage with Pipestone Reeve Ross Tycoles.

Tycoles said he became "fairly emotional" while watching community members rally together last week and distribute sandbags in hopes of preventing any further flood damage.

"The communities got strong and I think after the first one they were feeling a little sorry for themselves, after the second one it was just 'let's get this thing fixed...' so it was a very, very good feeling about our community," he said. "It's amazing what happened when it got tough."

Pipestone was one of Selinger's first stops on his tour of flooded areas across southwestern Manitoba. The rural municipalities of Pipestone and Albert had to declare states of emergency after being hit by two rainstorms on June 22 and 25.

After his tour, Selinger said he plans to work with officials to ensure the administrative work is taken care of "as quickly as possible to provide immediate relief and immediate rebuild.

"The challenge now is, 'How do we work forward to ensure we minimize these kinds of events in the future?' " he said. "We always find in these serious events we want to mitigate it so that it doesn't happen again or prevent any serious damage in the future, so we'll have to do some long-term planning as well."

Reston is still very much in cleanup mode after both storms left the area drenched in roughly 300 millimetres of rain, which washed out roads, caused flash floods and filled several basements with water.

-- Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2013 A4

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