Brandon is experiencing a one-in-300-year flood, provincial flood officials said Tuesday, surpassing the 1882 flood. Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton said the Assiniboine River will experience high flows for the next two weeks, above and beyond the planned controlled release of water to save about 850 properties southeast of Portage la Prairie. Ashton said the release won’t occur before noon on Wednesday and may happen later than expected based on weather conditions. Homeowners of the 150 properties affected by the controlled release will be compensated, under similar programs offered in 1997.
Earlier on Tuesday, volunteers assembled to shore up sandbag dikes in south Headingley that sit along the Assiniboine River.
The Manitoba government has also requested the assistance of an additional 300 troops from the Canadian military to help sandbag. Currently, 604 soldiers are helping to reinforce dikes along the Assiniboine in low-lying areas. Soldiers began working in the province on Monday, and are mostly from CFB Shilo. Troops from Edmonton will make their way to Manitoba in the coming days.
To help produce sandbags in the RM of Portage la Prairie, the City of Winnipeg will run their two sandbagging machines around the clock using city resources.
Inflows into the Portage Reservoir will reach 53,000 to 56,000 cfs on or around May 14 depending on the impact of rain.
The province also eased a number of road restrictions in flood-affected areas for farmers and agricultural producers to move feed, livestock or machinery.
On the topic of road closures, Manitoba RCMP reported Tuesday that road closure signs in the RM of St. Laurent and along Highway 6 to Ashern were removed or damaged. Police say anyone caught defacing or removing signs will face prosecution.