WINNIPEG — The sun may be out, but the worst isn’t behind us as the province bunkers down for more potential water.Follow @Canoe
Premier Greg Selinger said Tuesday, after touring water-logged areas of southwestern Manitoba, the potential is there for more to come.
“There is still a lot of water potentially coming from Saskatchewan,” he said. “There is a huge amount of rain out there, so we have to remain very vigilant as there is a real possibility of more water coming.”
They don’t have the hard numbers yet, but Selinger said a significant amount is anticipated to come from Saskatchewan through the Qu’Appelle and Assiniboine Rivers.
“But every day of sunshine and dry weather is helpful, no doubt about it,” he said.
Meanwhile in Winnipeg, water flowed through the Red River Floodway for the first time this summer.
The floodway was opened at 9 a.m. Tuesday to help combat the high volume of rain that has battered the city.
The Red River was at 17.5 ft. on Tuesday and is expected to stay at approximately 17.4 to 17.7 ft. in the next week and remain above 14 ft. until mid-July.
Elsewhere, states of emergency continued for 34 municipalities, while approximately 200 people have evacuated their homes and communities.
By late evening Tuesday, areas in the south of Virden were reportedly being evacuated.
Selinger spent Canada Day visiting some of the hardest hit areas in Brandon, Deloraine and Melita.
He noted Melita was especially hard hit, with a lot of their roads hampered by water.
“It’s a big challenge down there, I’d say at least as difficult as 2011 or arguably even worse,” Selinger said. “It’s water everywhere. You look out on the land and you just see a lot of surface water.”
Northwest of Winnipeg, properties in Twin Lakes Beach along Lake Manitoba remained relatively unharmed, but concern is growing among residents that the use of the Portage Diversion and one more windstorm will bring 2011-like flooding to the area.
Jack King, past president of the Twin Lakes Beach Association, said unlike in 2011 when preparations for flooding began in the first week of May, the response this year by the rural municipalities and province has been slow.
“It’s just the anxiety of déjà vu all over again,” he said. “I’ve been very disappointed both in the lack of communication and preparedness.”
Whereas he saw three crews working every day to fill sand bags and deliver them to locations in 2011, that level of preparation hasn’t been happening this year.
“I seriously wonder if we are prepared,” he said.
Out in Saskatchewan, more than 150 patients were evacuated from St. Peter’s Hospital in Melville as a creek behind the facility rose to possibly dangerous levels.