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Swan River confident in flood defences

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WITH cool overnight temperatures forecast, emergency measures officials in Swan River were confident late Wednesday their flood defences would hold.

Earlier in the day, the province said a flood warning was still in effect along the Swan River, including the town itself. On Tuesday, Swan River Mayor Glen McKenzie declared a state of emergency in the community of 3,800, 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, near the Saskatchewan border.

Flood Fight

The province issues a flood warning when river levels are topping the banks and a flood is expected or occurring.

But Duane Whyte, chairman of the Swan Valley emergency measures district and a local town councillor, said it looks as though emergency sandbagand tube-dikes laid down with the help of more than 100 volunteers Tuesday evening would control the problem.

"I’m comfortable that if the weather doesn’t change and the volumes don’t increase it appears that we have it under control," Whyte said, noting cool evening weather is critical in lessening the melt.

He said the town is prepared to raise the temporary dikes if need be.

A flood watch is in place for the Pipestone Creek and the Souris River from the U.S. border to Hartney in southwestern Manitoba. Meanwhile, Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship issued its first fire bulletin of the season on Wednesday.

The department said wildfire crews had responded to nine fires in the eastern and northwest regions of the province so far this spring, although just one, as of Wednesday afternoon, was still burning. It was under control.

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