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Flood fears rise in Melita, Manitoba


Souris River crests and threatens Melita
Souris River crests and threatens Melita

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

April 21, 2011 — Water levels of the Souris River have risen and are posing a threat to the small community of Melita, Manitoba.

Community works together to prevent mass evacuation
Community works together to prevent mass evacuation

It's a race against time for residents living in the small town of Melita in southwestern Manitoba. Water levels of the Souris River are rising and people are working as fast they can to avoid a mass evacuation.

The river has crested and authorities don't anticipate any additional crests as long as the weather remains stable.

The community added additional barriers Wednesday to keep flood waters out. Government officials say the construction of secondary dikes are helping to maintain the high water levels as well.

Precautionary sandbagging around the town's sewage lift station was also done on Wednesday. Officials say the community would be in jeopardy and would need to be evacuated if the dike breaches and affects the sewage system.

To date, over 850 Manitobans have been forced from their homes, primarily because road conditions are not safe.

On Monday, floodwaters forced the closure of Highway 75, which is expected to hurt the trucking industry.

Floodwaters submerge roads across the Prairies
Floodwaters submerge roads across the Prairies

First Nation communities are bearing the brunt of the flooding and thousands of people have been impacted by this year's flood.

Steve Ashton is the Manitoba Emergency Measures Minister. He says this is the most widespread the flooding has been in years.

“One of the things that's very obvious is the broader geographic scope. On barometer is the number of states of local emergency. In 2009, throughout the entire flood season, we had 16. We already have 32 this year.”

Be sure to tune in to The Weather Network on TV for the latest on the flood situation across the Prairies. Next week, Natalie Thomas will be reporting live from southern Manitoba.

With files from The Canadian Press and Lyndsay Morrison

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