Rain, snow slam province

Manitobans deal with flooded basements, power outages, highway closures


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Manitobans grappled with flooded basements, highway closures and power outages as a mix of rain and snow drenched the province over the weekend.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/04/2022 (288 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitobans grappled with flooded basements, highway closures and power outages as a mix of rain and snow drenched the province over the weekend.

“Soggy.” That’s how Environment Canada meteorologist Dave Carlsen described the last few days.

“It was a very moisture-laden system — a Colorado low as we’ve been talking about, and it actually overperformed a little bit, in terms of the precipitation that we got out of it,” Carlsen said, noting Saturday set a new record for the greatest rainfall in Winnipeg on April 23 since 1938.

Cameryn Johnson and Brett Hanslit check their pumps around their home after a railway ditch overflowed its banks and flooded their property on Rizzuto Bay Sunday. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

A total of 70 millimetres was recorded at The Forks in recent days, while Altona received a whopping 76 millimetres.

Forecasters had predicted the regions hit hardest by the storm would receive up to 50 millimetres of precipitation.

A rainfall warning remained in effect for Winnipeg for the majority of the weekend; it was anticipated to end before today.

East St. Paul’s Lori Kraynyk awoke Sunday to discover she now owns “a lakefront property.”

The resident on Pritchard Farm Road said she and her family members felt claustrophobic because they were trapped inside their home, unable to leave due to the high water level on the street. She witnessed several vehicles stall as they attempted to drive down the giant puddle that became of her road.

“We can’t leave the house. Our cars will go underwater… It’s probably as deep as an above-ground swimming pool. It’s crazy,” she said.

Stalled cars sit on a flooded and closed Pandora Avenue East. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

In order to manage water levels in the capital, the Red River Floodway was activated Saturday.

“It’s a fairly significant storm. You can just tell that by the number of customers that are out,” said Bruce Owen, public affairs officer for Manitoba Hydro. “The hardest hit areas are in western Manitoba, southwestern Manitoba up into the Parkland, where starting (Saturday), we started seeing ice on lines with a dip in the temperatures.”

Windy conditions blew wires around and in some cases, the weight of icicles on lines took down poles, Owen said, adding flooded and mucky roads caused delays in fixing issues across the province.

By 5:30 p.m. Sunday, upwards of 20,000 customers remained affected by nearly 800 outages.

In Southdale, homeowner Bridgette Parker spent the majority of her weekend pumping water out of her basement. So did many of her neighbours — if their local Canadian Tire’s sold-out sump pump stock is any indication.

Cars drive through water on Sherbrook Street on Sunday. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

“It’s been stressful, but also just a little bit defeating in that we’ve put a lot of work into the basement and now, we’re ripping it all out and essentially need to start over,” said Parker, who indicated that when she opened an insurance claim, an employee told her they had been swamped with calls about storm-related damage.

Throughout the weekend, the Winnipeg Police Service advised members of the public that the use of certain roadways and underpasses could be limited because of water levels.

Winnipeg Transit redirected several bus routes as rainfall resulted in flooding on city streets.

Flood warnings were put in place for the Red River Valley, from Emerson to the floodway inlet just south of the capital, and a large swath of southern Manitoba. A high water advisory was also issued for the Whiteshell lakes area.

In an alert Sunday, the province reminded Manitobans to stay off waterways due to high flows, debris and cold temperatures presenting “a significant safety risk.”

Stalled cars sit on Pritchard Farm Road in East St. Paul Sunday. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

The release reminds motorists to adjust driving habits for winter road conditions and remain alert when following or approaching highway snowplows.

“Heavy winds and snow accumulation could limit visibility and create challenging driving conditions. Manitobans in the affected areas are advised to travel only when necessary or wait until road conditions are safe to do so,” it states.

At least one school announced it would be closed Monday, as a result of the storm.

“Due to weather and unsafe road conditions due to flooding, buses will not run and classes are cancelled for Monday,” states a tweet from École Morden Middle School.

As of Sunday evening, the Red River near the James Avenue pumping station in Winnipeg’s Exchange District sat at 17.84 ft. This time last year, it sat at 3.12 ft.

Motorists navigate deep water and a large hidden pothole on Route 90 just north of Dublin Avenue in Winnipeg on Saturday. (Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press)


Twitter: @macintoshmaggie

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.


Updated on Sunday, April 24, 2022 8:16 PM CDT: Adds photo

Updated on Monday, April 25, 2022 6:57 AM CDT: Corrects photo cutline

Updated on Monday, April 25, 2022 7:15 AM CDT: Updates with writethrough, adds photos, re-orders photos

Updated on Monday, April 25, 2022 8:59 AM CDT: Removes photos, adds cutline

Updated on Monday, April 25, 2022 9:06 AM CDT: Removes photo, fixes cutline

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