The Manitoba government has added another tool to its flood-fighting arsenal with the purchase of a third Amphibex AE 400 icebreaking machine.
The large beast was unveiled by Premier Greg Selinger himself during a photo op in Selkirk Thursday morning.
With the near record amount of precipitation received in the province in 2010, the strategy this year is to be proactive in the flood fight, as many Manitoba communities will experience hardships in the months to come when the snow begins to melt.
The Amphibex cost $1.2 million, including about $60,000 to improve structural strength and hydraulics. It will be put into action in March and join the two other Amphibexes.
Ice-cutting machines will be used ahead of the icebreakers to make cuts along and across rivers to weaken the ice before the spring runoff.
The Amphibex will work on the Red River north of Winnipeg to prevent ice james where flooding continues to be an issue every year. Some communities have already put out the call for volunteers to help with sandbagging efforts.