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Cottage flooding

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This weekend I took a bike ride through Wanasing near Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg.

Wanasing and its 50 or so cottages face east, looking towards Albert Beach and Traverse Bay.

On the weekend a group of cottagers were busily shoring up a gravel dike built late last year after the October weather-bomb storm. In low water years Wanasing is a beautiful place, it’s fine-sand beach one of the best-kept secrets in Manitoba.

There’s no beach this year. The lake is high and it’s still climbing. It’s forecasted to peak at 716.8 ft. by mid-July. Manitoba Hydro regulates the lake’s level between 711 ft. and 715 ft., and is discharging about 160,000 cubic feet per second of water at the lake’s northern outlet, but with so much water in the watershed, it’ll take weeks if not months to bring the level down to between those two numbers.

Anyone with a cottage on or near Lake Winnipeg has seen what happened at Delta Beach and Twin Lakes Beach on Lake Manitoba a couple of weeks ago. It’s what makes the work at Wanasing all the more vital.

At Twin Lakes Beach, several hundred cottagers and permanent residents won’t be allowed to return until and water recedes, maybe as late as September. Some already know they’ll return to only wreckage.

Some want to return and sandbag the homes and cottages still standing, but it’s up in the air if they’ll get that chance. Roads are under water so access is iffy at best.

There’s lot of photos circulating on the web of the destruction, here's the latest batch.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

 

Supplied photos of the aftermath at Twin Lake Beaches on Lake Manitoba.

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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