Floodwater Starts to Subside in Manitoba But Not Out of the Woods Yet: Officials

Floodwater Starts to Subside in Manitoba But Not Out of the Woods Yet: Officials

By The Canadian Press

Westbourne Flooding
A water-logged ditch and culverts on Highway 16 just west of Westbourne, Manitoba on Sunday, April 2, 2017. (CHRISD.CA)

CARMAN, Man. – Some of the floodwater that prompted states of emergencies and evacuations in small Manitoba communities is starting to subside, although officials say the danger is not over yet.

Rising water from the spring melt over the weekend forced dozens of people from the Peguis First Nation along the Fisher River north of Winnipeg.

There were also evacuees from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation along the Assiniboine River in western Manitoba.

Closer to Winnipeg, ice jams on the Boyne River caused water to pour into dozens of basements on the weekend.

The community of 3,400 closed its high school and elementary school Monday as a precaution.

But Premier Brian Pallister says the weather is co-operating in most areas and ice jams are breaking up.

“It’s a little early to breathe a sigh of relief yet, but nature has been co-operative in diminishing the likelihood of floods in a number of our water basins,” Pallister told the legislature Monday.

“Local people seem to have things in hand … and I know that if needed, Manitobans, as they always have, will rise to the challenge.”

Carman’s schools were expecting to reopen Tuesday, Pallister added.

Flooding is an almost annual event in Manitoba, as spring melt water from as far away as Alberta and South Dakota passes through the province, sometimes butting up against still-icy sections of north-flowing rivers.

Winnipeg is protected by the Red River Floodway, a massive ditch that diverts water around the city. Smaller communities along the Red have large dikes that can be completely sealed to keep the water at bay.

The Red Cross was handling evacuees Monday from Peguis First Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.

Local states of emergencies remained in effect for eight other communities.

CP - The Canadian Press


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