December 7, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Re: Conditions similar to 2009 (March 27). As one of many still recovering from the flood of 2011 at Lake Manitoba, I am disappointed with officials' self-congratulatory references to their past actions. They are exaggerated and inappropriate given the sombre news.
Understandably, this announcement has been met with skepticism of those living along the lake given the poor prognostication from 2011. Has the government learned nothing from the $1-billion flood?
Two commissions were established and reports scheduled for completion in December 2012. Since these reports will contain insight and recommendations, we cannot help but wonder why they have not been shared with the public and to what extent they have shaped this year's planning.
The Portage Diversion flows far exceeded the capacity to release water at the Fairford Water Control System. Nothing has been done to increase the outflow. In fact, the Lake St. Martin channel, which was built to allow water from Lake Manitoba to be drawn down over the winter, closed at freeze-up. The consequence is that the lake is already in the upper range of the recommended level.
The ability of my municipality of St. Laurent to prepare for possible flooding is inhibited by a property tax base that has shrunk considerably given demolitions from the 2011 flood. Specific assistance -- financial and advisory -- is needed by such municipalities.
I will be more than happy to congratulate you once my home and community have been spared. Please save the bows for the post-flood news conference.
Twin Lakes Beach
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 30, 2013 A14