WEATHER ALERT

Waiting to exhale

Looking back at 1997's Flood of the Century

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Winnipeggers couldn't breathe a sign of relief during the Flood of the Century until after May 3, 1997.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/05/2017 (1971 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeggers couldn’t breathe a sign of relief during the Flood of the Century until after May 3, 1997.

That was the day the Red River crested in the city — at 24.5 feet above the normal winter ice level at James Avenue. That’s 18 feet higher than normal summer levels.

These images are from the Winnipeg Free Press archives of the flood.

While dikes like this were needed on Scotia Street, the intense weight of the sandbags was a concern. JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG REE PRESS
While dikes like this were needed on Scotia Street, the intense weight of the sandbags was a concern. JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG REE PRESS
Homeowner John Kenny gets a lift home from a naval reservist. JEFF DEBOOY / WINNIPEG REE PRESS
Ralph Taupe worked hard to keep his Fort Garry home safe. MARC GALLANT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Overcome by floodwaters at 410 Turnbull Drive. KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Winnipeg Free Press files Canadian Forces soldiers help a homeowner build a sandbag dike in Grand Pointe.
Ken Reddig checks the water from the dike around his Glenwood Crescent home. JEFF DEBOOY / WINNIPEG REE PRESS
Packing up to leave home in St. Norbert. JEFF DEBOOY / WINNIPEG REE PRESS
The Sandbagger, an octopus-like machine, was working virtually around the clock. WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Staving off the Red on Lord Avenue. WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
City of Winnipeg employees Rick Mallett (left) and Jeff Blue work on sealing up a storm drain that is overflowing with flood waters near a residential area in Winnipeg. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press)
Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press Files Troops travel the province in the flood effort.
Downtown Winnipeg is framed through a life preserver resting on a dike as curious onlookers walk past (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press)
Dave Little (left) came to Scotia Ave. in Winnipeg's North End to pitch in a hand sandbagging. (Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press)
Glenn Joynt (right) and Lorne Mikulik, both both City of Winnipeg employees, patrol a massive flood dike along Scotia street in Winnipeg late Saturday evening. teams of patrolls inspect the dikes around the city for leaks 24 hours a day. (Tom Hanson / The Canadian Press)
Victoria Misiak places more sandwiches on a tray for volunteers sandbagging behind her aunt's home in Kingston Row on Saturday, April 26, 1997, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Volunteers moved from house to house bartering their time and help in exchange for food and beverages. (Beth A. Keiser / The Associated Press)
WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
JEFF DEBOOY / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press Files Cpl. Ed Capulong from Calgary drives a boat full of sandbags past a 10-ton military truck that was washed off the road moments earlier.
Winnipeg Free Press files In 1997, Maj.-Gen. Bruce Jeffries was the commander of Land Forces in Western Canada.
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
JON THORDARSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg Free Press files Warren Magnusson of the Coast Guard on a barge outside the Morris dike.
Soldiers load boats with sandbags destined for threatened communities south of Winnipeg. (Winnipeg Free Press files)
Winnipeg Free Press files With 8,500 soldiers, sailors and flyers under command, Operation Assistance was the biggest peacetime operation Canada had ever mounted.
Winnipeg Free Press files Soldiers from Kingston, Ont. prepare for duty.
Sapper Matthew VanErp does his best to keep dogs fro the Roseau River First Nation from hitching a ride in his Zodiac.
Winnipeg Free Press files Soldiers from Kingston, Ont. prepare for duty.
Sapper Matthew VanErp does his best to keep dogs fro the Roseau River First Nation from hitching a ride in his Zodiac.
Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press Files The Kenny family credits the military with saving their St. Mary's Road home from ruin. The land has belonged to the family since 1879.
Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press Files Bdr. John Horan of the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery was among the soldiers who called La Salle School home during the flood.
Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press files Princess Patrica's Canadian Light Infantry Pte. Peter Chan, centre, hoists a sandbag to his shoulder in Emerson, Man.
Jef DeBooy / Winnipeg Free Press files Osborne Street in Winnipeg was jammed with grateful residents when the military convoy passed on its way out of the city for the last time.
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