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Boil water order issued in Manitoba

June 3, 2010 — Manitobans hit by last weekend's rain and floods are being urged to boil any water coming from wells.

It was a system that brought record-breaking rainfall to parts of southern Manitoba, leaving roads, parks and homes under water. Some communities were hit with more than 100mm of rain in only 48 hours.

Now, provincial officials are asking anyone who uses well water to boil it first.

A boil water order is in effect, and it applies to any water used for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes or preparing food.

On Saturday, about 53mm fell in Winnipeg. Several major city roads were forced to close because of deep water and power outages. More than 500 homes in the city were flooded.

The heavy rain also raised water levels along the Red River. On Monday afternoon, officials activated the floodway, a 48-kilometre channel that diverts water around the eastern side of Winnipeg. Forecasters say the water levels in the Winnipeg area went up nearly three metres over the weekend.

It's the first time in decades that the floodway has been opened after flood season.

Further south, in the community of Emerson, a state of emergency was declared on Sunday after hundreds of homes flooded. The property damage is said to be extensive, but no one has been injured by the floods.

Still, it's not just property that's taking a hit. Farmers are suffering, as well.

“Anything that's under water is going to be dead for sure,” says farmer Corey Bossuyt in southwestern Winnipeg. “I expect this water to sit here for probably 7 to 10 days based on recent experience with the drainage in this area.”

According to Bossuyt plants can only survive under water for four to five days.

This year, Manitoba has been soaked with unusually high amounts of rain. Normally, about 58.8mm would have been reported at the Winnipeg airport during the month of May. This year, there has been 154.1mm.

Anyone living in the Winnipeg area could get another 5 - 15mm of rain overnight tonight.

For the latest forecast details, tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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