The St. Francois Xavier municipal office is buzzing with staff, volunteers and Armed Forces members co-ordinating sandbagging efforts and food and water supplies.
CAO Robert Poirier said about half of the approximately 70 properties at risk for flooding had been sandbagged by noon today. Sandbagging was continuing throughout the day as volunteers, including a busload of provincial government employees, Manitoba Conservation forest firefighters from northern and eastern Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro staff, and members of the Second Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and 17 Wing Winnipeg, worked together moving east along the riverside homes on the south side of Highway 26.
Semis filled with sandbags pulled into the SFX municipal yard to dump their loads, which were then transferred into smaller trucks and taken to where they were needed.
Poirier said that about 52,000 sandbags were placed yesterday and he expects close to the same number will be used today.
"It’s huge today," he said, of the volunteers’ efforts.
A brigade of volunteers were piling bags around Gloria and Keven Van Camp’s home at 2110 Highway 26. Today, a grove of trees and large field still sits between their house and the river, but Gloria said they learned how fast the river can spill its banks in spring 2011 when it came as far at the edge of their back patio.
According to a provincial government bulletin, the river’s crest is expected to reach the Portage Diversion by noon tomorrow. RM of Headingley CAO Chris Fulsher said he anticipates it will take another day or so to flow east to Headingley.
He said municipal staff have checked elevations of properties along the river and built an earthen dike behind some located along the west end of Roblin Boulevard. There hasn’t been any sandbagging done in the municipality at this time, but sandbags have been dropped off at locations along the river.
The RM of Cartier’s website states that sandbagging has been completed in the municipality.