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Flood woes continue in Manitoba

Water levels rise after days of heavy rain and strong winds
Water levels rise after days of heavy rain and strong winds

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

June 1, 2011 — Heavy rain and strong winds have forced several communities in Manitoba to start evacuations.

Flooding in Brandon, MB earlier this month
Flooding in Brandon, MB earlier this month

An intense low pressure system has been hammering parts of the Interlake and west-central regions of Manitoba since the weekend. Upwards of 60 mm of rain has fallen in some places. Winds gusting to 80 km/h have also been reported and that's helping to push water onshore.

As a result, areas near Lake Manitoba faced a mandatory evacuation on Tuesday. Officials say about 80 properties in the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent and another 68 in the RM of Woodlands are affected. There are also evacuation notices in several beach communities where residents and cottagers are being told to move any belongings to higher ground.

Overland flooding is threatening the Sioux Valley First Nation as well, while rough waves and high lake levels are causing problems for the Ochre River and Alonsa.

This spring's flooding in Manitoba has already cost an estimated $200 million to fight, and that doesn't include the cost of post-flood damages. Officials in the area say this year's bill for flooding and damages could top that of 1997's “flood of the century,” which led to about $500 million in repairs and economic loss.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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