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Canadian News | Manitoba

Flooding forces hundreds to evacuate Manitoba First Nations

Digital writers

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 9:35 AM - Nearly 200 people have been forced to flee from four Manitoba First Nations, as ice jams are causing rivers to rise.

Residents from Fisher River Cree Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation evacuated their homes due to flooding that began over the first weekend of April, CBC reports.

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Overland flooding continues across much of southern Manitoba, the province said on Wednesday. Eight communities have registered with the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) to declare a state of local emergency.

Grassland and Grey have joined the municipalities of Two Borders, Prairie Lakes, Brenda-Waskada, Dufferin, La Broquerie, and the Town of Carman. The Peguis First Nation and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation have both been evacuated with assistance from The Canadian Red Cross.

If anyone sees this dock on the Boyne, let me know. We tried to save it but couldn't push through the ice as you can see! Because of the fast moving water, and the sun it was gone along with the ice shortly after, dammit. @reganjune @devonboklaschuk89 #carmanflood #flood

28 Likes, 6 Comments - Deena (@deenabok) on Instagram: "If anyone sees this dock on the Boyne, let me know. We tried to save it but couldn't push through..."

Boyne River, Pipestone Creek, Swan River, and Netley Creek are all experiencing issues due to ice jams, CBC Manitoba's Bartley Kives reports.

Flooding on the Fisher River displaced more than 130 people at Peguis First Nation -- namely due to the lack of permanent flood protection, which has caused frequent evacuations over the past decade, Kives says.

Meanwhile, flooding in Carman has already damaged as many as 40 homes in the town, Global News reports, prompting several school closures.

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As of 11 a.m. on Monday, the Red River was sitting at 19.2 feet above normal winter ice levels -- a drop from the seasonal peak of 19.4 feet that was seen on Saturday.

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"The Red River continues to rise and is nearing its crest," Manitoba Infrastructure’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre reported on Wednesday. "Some Red River tributaries are still rising such as the Morris and La Salle rivers but others are beginning to decline."

The Red River Floodway is in operation to manage water levels within the city. Water levels at James Avenue are expected to stay stable for the next week.

Authorities are reminding residents that basement flooding is at risk with springtime thaw in Winnipeg.

"Although basement flooding is a risk at any time of the year, the risk increases with high river levels because the sewer system must then rely heavily on pumping stations rather than gravity to carry the rainfall runoff," the city says

Homeowners are advised to take the following steps to protect their property:

(courtesy of City of Winnipeg)

  1. Residents who live along the river should move or secure any structures or equipment near the water’s edge, such as docks, sheds, gazebos, irrigation pumps, and recreational equipment. The rising river level will affect each property owner differently.
  2. To ensure maximum protection against basement flooding, arrange for a licensed plumber to install a sewer line backup valve and a sump pit with pump in the basement.
  3. Inspect backup valves and sump pump drainage systems to make sure they are functioning properly.
  4. Ensure drainage is directed away from the home by extending downspouts away from the basement walls and ensuring the earth is built up around the house.

SOURCE: Winnipeg.ca | CBC | Winnipeg Free Press

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