Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
St. Andrews residents warned to 'prepare for worst'
The RM of St. Andrews is warning residents to prepare for flood-related evacuation.
In a newsletter from the RM, which is north of Winnipeg, residents were asked to "prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
People in evacuation areas were asked to have personal belongings packed in case they need to move quickly.
Stubborn winter-like weather that has so far refused to end is adding to flood worries in the province.
This year’s delayed thaw means the snow is likely to melt suddenly when warm temperatures finally arrive, which could be accompanied by spring storms.
Darcy Hardman, St. Andrews’ emergency co-ordinator, said the region has hot zones where people end up being moved out every year.
The RM’s emergency operations centre is already open. It’s distributing empty sandbags to the public — people have to get their own sand — and it has Tiger tubes and pumps available for emergency use.
Ice jams cause the flooding in St. Andrews, Hardman said. When an ice jam forms, it’s monitored 24 hours a day so residents can be warned as soon as it threatens their home.
Evacuated residents are usually only out of their homes for 48 hours, or until the jam clears, Hardman said.
Right now, the municipality is steaming culverts and cleaning ditches in preparation for the thaw.
"So far, the ice hasn’t started breaking up or moving," Hardman said. "We’re just waiting to react."
-- The Canadian Press
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