Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rising rivers threaten western centres

St. Lazare, Melita on high alert

  • Print

The number of Manitobans displaced by this year's flood is on the rise, as are flood waters at a critical spot in western Manitoba.

As of Wednesday, another 103 Manitobans had been evacuated from their communities, mainly as a precaution due to a loss of road access, bringing the total to 866.

About 60 Red River Valley residents were among the latest evacuees, along with another 12 in the RM of Cornwallis in the Brandon area.

The province reported Wednesday it had completed a two-day evacuation of the St. Adolphe Personal Care Home due to concerns about road access. The home's 42 residents were moved to Grunthal.

The Red River is expected to crest at Emerson April 24-27, but the province is turning much of its attention to western Manitoba, where the fight is right now.

Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said the community of St. Lazare, near the Saskatchewan border, is bracing for a crest within 48 hours. There, the Qu'Appelle River is expected to reach record levels.

The community has been busy adding additional protection to the community ring dike and sandbagging homes outside the dike.

Ricky Fouillard, chief administrator for the Rural Municipality of Ellice and the Village of St. Lazare, said eight homes are at risk of flooding, but they've been sandbagged and should be safe.

"Everybody is diked and we're kind of just waiting for the water to come up and go back down again," he said.

St. Lazare sits in a valley where the Qu'Appelle meets the Assiniboine River. The town's next test will be the Assiniboine, which hasn't crested in western Manitoba yet. The same eight homes will remain on alert.

In the legislature Wednesday, MLA Len Derkach (Russell) said residents are worried about the Qu'Appelle and Assiniboine peaking at the same time. The two streams meet near the town.

He asked Ashton if there were plans to raise protective dikes on short notice if the fortifications are overwhelmed.

Ashton assured him that a one-kilometre earthen section of the community dike had been raised. He said even with the high crest expected in the next day or so, the dikes should have four feet of breathing room.

Another area of concern in western Manitoba is Melita, which saw the Souris River crest Tuesday. No further crest is expected there unless there are heavy rains, but water levels are expected to remain high for several days.

"The construction of secondary dikes in Melita is progressing well to address sustained high river levels," said Chuck Sanderson, executive director of the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization. "Precautionary sandbagging is also being done around the community's sewage lift station."

Premier Greg Selinger will tour the area by helicopter today, landing at Melita and Souris early in the morning before visiting Brandon.

So far, 32 communities have declared states of local emergency in Manitoba. That compares with 16 during the entire 2009 flood.

There are still 77 provincial roads affected by flood waters, with 55 closed or accessible to local traffic only. About 530 municipal roads are closed.

The Red is expected to crest in Winnipeg May 2-5. The Assiniboine could crest as early as today in Brandon and around April 27-30 at Headingley.

 

-- with files from Mary Agnes Welch

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Flood warnings are in effect for the Souris River from the U.S. border and downstream, and for the Qu'Appelle River near St. Lazare.

Forty-two personal-care home residents were evacuated from St. Adolphe in the past two days.

The number of people evacuated as a precaution due to flooding rose to 866 Wednesday from 763 on Tuesday.

Thirty-two communities have declared states of emergency, double the number during the entire 2009 flood.

The Red River is expected to crest at Emerson as early as Sunday.

The rail line along the dikes at Emerson and Morris were to be closed Wednesday to protect those communities.

The City of Winnipeg is setting up cage-barrier dikes near Highway 75 to protect Turnbull Drive.

The Shellmouth Reservoir is being used to ease flood pressure along the Assiniboine River in western Manitoba. Since Tuesday, inflow to the reservoir has increased 75 per cent to 16,700 cubic feet per second.

Water levels at James Avenue in Winnipeg fell more than half a foot Wednesday to 18.3 feet. The forecast Red River crest level at James Avenue ranges from 20.1 to 22.8 feet.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 21, 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

Maria Aragon performs new single "Nothing but a Beat"

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....
  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Have you decided which mayoral candidate will get your vote?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google