Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger on Friday toured the southern areas of the province most prone to flooding this season along the Red River.
Forecasters are calling for flood levels similar to those of 2009, which forced the closure of Highway 75 for 36 days due to overland flooding. The highway — a main artery between Canada the U.S. — runs directly through the town of Morris.
Selinger met with Morris Mayor Gavin van der Linde to see how the community is preparing for the pending water and to see what plans it has in place should a worse case scenario occur.
“The main issue facing us is an economic one when the highway shuts down, as well as the inconvenience of driving around town,” van der Linde said. “The rural areas do have some more difficulties with some of their roads going under water. If the waters do come too high, then we have the problem when they (residents) end up boating or being evacuated.”
Portions of the highway could be raised in the future based on the outcome of a study the province has commissioned to avoid the same situation every spring. Morris already has a permanent ring dike, which officials are shoring up with large rocks and extra clay.
Selinger later toured Emerson — another community that will see flooding — and met with local officials before wrapping up his day.