Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rising water forces residents to leave

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Water collects along Jenny Drive, known for spring flooding, Wednesday from the Netley Creek.  Homes in the area were evacuated earlier.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Water collects along Jenny Drive, known for spring flooding, Wednesday from the Netley Creek. Homes in the area were evacuated earlier. Photo Store

Thirty-five Petersfield residents were evacuated early Wednesday as floodwaters rose and threatened their homes.

The evacuations took place around 3 a.m., when water from nearby Netley Creek approached the tops of the dikes overnight. Tiger dams were brought in to help hold back the water, as officials had been monitoring the situation since Tuesday evening.

Tiger dams are portable, inflatable tube dams.

When the water started crossing over Jenny Drive, the stretch of road that was the biggest concern for area residents, officials made the decision to get people out of their homes.

"They wouldn't be able to get in or out of their homes, so we decided to make the call," said Darcy Hardman, emergency measures co-ordinator with the RM of St. Andrews. "The water was already rushing over the road at 4 a.m."

Five people went to a hotel, while the others stayed with family and friends.

The stretch of Jenny Drive is subject to flooding every spring. A few properties did take on some water this time around, but the damage was limited to flooded yards and lower-set garages.

No homes saw any flooding, Hardman said.

Water levels in the nearby creek rose overnight as the spring runoff coupled with an ice jam on the Red River south of Netley-Libau Marsh. The ice jam broke up Wednesday morning, and the water level has dropped, Hardman said.

"The ice jam has started to move farther north into the Netley Marsh area," he said. "We're seeing the water drop, so we stopped putting up the Tiger dams. Now we're going to go back and assist residents with pumping some of the water out near the homes."

Crews spent much of Wednesday pumping water out of yards back into the creek. Residents returned to their homes later Wednesday.

Water levels at all points along the Red River receded Wednesday, provincial officials said in an afternoon bulletin. The rate of decline may slow due to an expected overnight rainfall of 10 to 15 millimetres in the southern portion of the Red River Valley.

Up to 20 mm of rain were expected along the Assiniboine River drainage basin. It's expected to increase flows on the Assiniboine and require the continued use of the Portage Diversion, which sends part of the Assiniboine's flow west of Portage la Prairie to Lake Manitoba.

Flows on the diversion were 3,700 cubic feet per second Wednesday, or 15 per cent of the channel's normal capacity.

The province also warned of potential flooding along the Fisher River at Dallas, an Interlake community that sits between Peguis First Nation and Fisher River First Nation.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2014 A8

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