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Support available during flood season

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It’s important to know about road closures due to flooding and you can get the latest updates through the province’s 511 service.


Neil Gobelle, manager with Infrastructure and Transportation, said field staff at 66 provincial yards across Manitoba are sending up-to-the-minute information on provincial road closures and cautions as the spring flood progresses.


"There are about 20 roads closed now," Gobelle said on May 1.


You can check on road conditions in your area by calling 511, checking mb511.ca or through Twitter by following @mbgovroads.


"It’s available anywhere in Manitoba, 24/7 and it’s a free service," he said.


Gobelle was project manager when the 511 service began in November 2011, and he said call volume is gradually increasing. While people are primarily concerned with flooding at this time of year, they can also check on other factors affecting travel such as severe weather and spring road restrictions.


Worrying about your property being flooded naturally causes stress. Help in dealing with stress is available in English and French through Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services by calling 1-866-367-3276 or online at ruralsupport.ca


Program manager Janet Smith said the service is targeted at rural and northern residents, but they will accept calls and online inquiries from anyone in Manitoba. They offer help to anyone who is dealing with personal and financial issues, abuse, addictions, and other issues causing stress.


"We support people and help them to find their own solutions." she said, adding that the counsellors are trained and knowledgeable about useful resources that people can access.
Service is available through text and instant messaging, and Smith said a growing number of people are contacting them in these ways.


Run by Winnipeg’s Klinic Community Health Centre, the farm and rural support services program began in 2000. Smith said there is no particular time of year that’s busier than others, but weather-related concerns such as flooding or drought generate more calls.


"There are times of crisis," she said.

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