Media Bulletin - Manitoba
PROVINCE ADVISES FLOOD PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR RED RIVER VALLEY
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation advises that preparations for potential spring flooding are underway across the province. In the Red River Valley, the Manitoba government is working with rural municipalities south of Winnipeg to ensure they are prepared for flood levels higher than those seen in 2009. The flood risk on the Red River is approaching the unfavourable weather scenario in the provincial outlook, which could result in major flooding from Emerson to Winnipeg of half a foot to one ft. higher than seen in 2009.
Southern Manitoba has extensive flood-control measures in place, which have prevented property damage and reduced the potential impact of flooding on families and communities. Since the 1997 flood, more than $1 billion has been invested in flood mitigation efforts in Manitoba. This investment has prevented more than $7 billion in damages throughout the province.
Community Ring Dikes
Partial closures are expected for most of the 18 community ring dikes in the Red River Valley: Emerson, Gretna, Letellier, Rosenfeld, Dominion City, St. Jean Baptiste, Riverside, Rosenort,
St-Pierre-Jolys, Aubigny, Morris, Roseau River, Lowe Farm, Ste. Agathe, Brunkild, St. Adolphe, Niverville and Grande Pointe.
- The Manitoba government’s Emergency Response Organization (EMO) will continue meetings with those communities to go over plans to ensure they have the resources they need to construct partial dike closures as well as develop contingency plans for evacuation in the event that communities lose road access.
- The dikes are built to protect to two feet above the flood of 1997. During the 2009 flood, it is estimated the ring dikes prevented about $700 million in flood damages to these communities.
- It is not uncommon to have significant rainfall events in the months of April and May. EMO will ensure that adequate pumping equipment is available to address internal drainage behind flood dikes. Regional flood teams will be monitoring and manning pumps within the community ring dikes.
- In addition to the Red River Valley community ring dikes, more than 1,800 outlying homes, businesses and farms in the valley have been flood protected to the same level, preventing another $100 million in damages during the 2009 flood.
- Though the properties are protected, evacuations for outlying homes and farms are expected. In 2009, about 250 homes and farms in the Red River Valley were evacuated. Evacuations, if they occur, will be staged so people will have warning and time to leave.
- Ring dikes and other forms of flood works protect 95 per cent of the homes, businesses and farms in the valley.
- PTH 75 is expected to require a stage detour. A PTH 75 detour was in place for 36 days in 2009 and 44 days in 1997.
- Manitoba has received indications that I-29 will be closed.
- Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation will be directing traffic to alternate routes to continue the flow of transportation.
- Border crossings at Emerson and Gretna will likely be closed.
- Rail transportation may be affected in the Red River Valley.
- Manitoba Health’s Office of Disaster Management will work with regional health authorities to ensure residents of communities impacted by road closures continue to receive emergency medical services.
- Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives will work with producers, railways and grain handlers to ensure commodities such as crops and feed are removed from low-lying, flood-prone areas.
- It will also assist in moving equipment and material property from low-lying areas to high ground.
- Spring road restrictions may be modified if necessary so producers can move their grain out of potential flood areas.
- The province will work with individual producers and agricultural associations to ensure they have plans in place to move animals if necessary and the Animal Evacuation Committee will work with other government departments and partner agencies to develop plans for evacuated companion animals.
- Stay off ice and water. When the spring melt begins, ice conditions are unsafe and turbulent flow maybe encountered.
- Stay away from heavy equipment used in flood fighting.
- Before travelling, check road conditions by calling 511.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, keep a two-week supply of prescription medication for you and your family.
- The threat of flooding to your home, business or property can be stressful and there are supports available by calling local regional health authorities or one of these numbers:
- Farm and Rural Support Services Stress Line – 1-866-367-3276 (toll-free); and
- Klinic Community Health Centre – 204-786-8686 (in Winnipeg) or 1-888-322-3019 (toll-free).
- The province’s Winnipeg flood liaison office (204-945-2121) will be open from midnight to 9 p.m. daily starting April 22 for information on flood protection levels. Flood liaison offices in Brandon, Morris and Arborg will be open upon further notification. Fact sheets regarding readiness before during and after a flood are available on the provincial government’s website at www.gov.mb.ca/flooding/index.html.
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED