May 24, 2015


Local

Soldiers doing the riskiest jobs in war on water

RM of PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE -- The first Canadian soldiers to help fight a Manitoba flood since 1997 hit the muddy banks of the Assiniboine River beneath a steady drizzle and overcast skies Monday.

About 100 members of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry shored up the south bank of the Assiniboine near Provincial Road 430 northeast of Portage la Prairie while between 40 and 50 reservists with the 26th Field Regiment began working on dikes in Brandon.

Soldiers from C Company, Second Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry help with sandbagging just outside Poplar Point on Monday.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Soldiers from C Company, Second Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry help with sandbagging just outside Poplar Point on Monday.

An additional 350 soldiers will be deployed along the Assiniboine River by Thursday and 300 more are standing by in Edmonton, said Lt.-Col. Shane Schreiber, commanding officer of the PPCLI's Second Battalion and the Canadian military's immediate-reaction unit in Western Canada.

Most of the soldiers are from CFB Shilo and are proud to be deployed on Canadian soil, Schreiber said.

"Much of what we do is out of sight and out of mind," he told reporters near the Portage Diversion control structure. "Unfortunately, (when they are seen) it has to be in situations like this."

Premier Greg Selinger said the province called in the military to work in slippery riverside conditions too dangerous for volunteers. The military is working under the direction of the province, which is trucking sandbags from Winnipeg to distribution points at Elie, Brandon and elsewhere.

The army has already reconnoitred areas expected to pose logistical problems, Schreiber said. It has trucks, helicopters and inflatable boats, unofficially known as "attack Zodiacs," at its disposal to get personnel and equipment into tricky areas.

On Monday, the troops at PR 430 northeast of Portage la Prairie loaded sandbags onto rubber-tracked utility vehicles called Morookas, which were driven on top of the dike to soft spots that required reinforcement.

The military will also be used to shore up the banks of the Portage Diversion, which is expected to transfer more water to Lake Manitoba than the diversion was designed to carry.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2011 A3

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 January 2015.

Jessica B-U | @_jessbu

May 23 7:43 pm

#tablefor1201 is well underway at the Manitoba Legislative grounds. pic.twitter.com/kL104OkkDE

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 23 6:20 pm

A feast fit for 1,201 to take place at MB Legislative grounds wfp.to/RTE

Jessica B-U | @_jessbu

May 23 3:19 pm

About 30 people marched in memory of Simone Sanderson today, from Burrows and Main, down Selkirk Ave. #MMIW pic.twitter.com/TONWhOHIQo

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 23 3:18 pm

BlackBerry to lay off more employees wfp.to/RTg

Trevor Hagan | @wpgphotog

May 23 1:42 pm

Jason Graveline Pilots the @STARSambulance over #investorsgroupfield #winnipeg #starsairambulance… instagram.com/p/3CNKdYQwra/

Scroll down to load more

Top