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Community Cut Off After Flooding Washes Out Roads in Western Manitoba

May 16, 2022 5:14 PM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

Road Wash Out

A washed-out bridge near Duck Mountain Provincial Park in Manitoba is shown in this undated photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dawn Dowsett)

WINNIPEG — Flooding that has washed out many roads and bridges in western Manitoba has cut off one community from the outside world.

“We can’t get out of here at all,” Robert Hanson said Monday from Mafeking, a community of 130 residents.

Bridges to the north and south of Mafeking were severely damaged by heavy rain late last week that combined with melting snow in and around Duck Mountain Provincial Park.

“Such high water came out of there, it just washed out everything in its path,” said Hanson, who is reeve of the Rural Municipality of Mountain, which includes Mafeking and some other hard-hit communities.

Another highway to the west has sections that are under water.

“We’ve got washouts all over the place.”

Mafeking’s ambulance station has been closed because the ambulance was outside the community when the bridge washed out and cannot get back. Anyone needing medical care will have to be taken out by helicopter.

In other communities, roads, bridges and culverts were washed out. There were at least three provincial bridges severely damaged and many municipal roads inundated.

“It’s been very devastating in that region,” said Doyle Piwniuk, minister for emergency measures.

Hanson said he and others in Mafeking might be able to leave in three days when a bridge to the north is expected to reopen.

The flooding in western Manitoba is the latest disaster to hit the province, which has been dealing with high water for weeks.

In the central region, more than 1,800 people from the Peguis First Nation are still out of their homes due to the swollen Fisher River.

South of Winnipeg, the Red River has started to recede but still resembles a vast lake in many areas, covering farmland and roads. A section of Highway 75, the main link between the provincial capital and the United States, remained closed.

CP - The Canadian Press