Manitoba Flooding Triggers Provincial State of Emergency

WINNIPEG — A provincial state of emergency has been declared in Manitoba to allow additional resources to deal with recent flooding.

Premier Greg Selinger said on Friday water levels along the Assiniboine River are approaching the stage of 2011 levels, which devastated parts of the province.

“We need to be able to take action to protect the safety, health and welfare of Manitobans,” Selinger said. “Declaring a provincial state of emergency will allow us to take steps quickly to protect people and property in the area.”

Portage la Prairie, and the rural municipalities of Cartier, St. Francois Xavier and Headingley are affected.

Steve Topping, the province’s emergency measures minister, said Manitoba is fight an “unprecedented” flood this summer.

Military support is expected to arrive Saturday to assist in sandbagging and the shoring of dikes in the Portage area. A command centre will be opened near Portage where the military will operate from to disperse help in areas requiring it the most. About 500,000 sandbags are being produced to support efforts to reinforce the Assiniboine dikes.

“Levels similar to or slightly higher than 2011 are expected on the Assiniboine River downstream of Portage la Prairie,” the province said. “High water levels are expected within five to seven days and will remain high for at least three weeks before slowly receding. Forecast flow levels are expected to be between 48,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and 52,000 cfs.”

STARS air ambulance will be used to respond to medical emergencies in the flood zone and will resume inter-facility transfers today to support flood operations.

The crest is expected to hit Brandon as early as Sunday — revised from the predicted crest of late next. Brandon has also downgraded the size of its crest.

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