Manitobans brace for another wet weekend as communities ramp up flood preparation

Manitobans whose properties flooded last weekend are worried about what another storm will mean for their homes. 

A third major low pressure system in as many weeks is set to bring more precipitation to southern Manitoba starting Friday. 

That’s bad news for residents like Barb Cieszynski, who is still cleaning up after water from the retention pond behind her Selkirk condo flooded into the basement. 

She lives with her husband in a 55+ complex in the Creekside development in the city, which has walk-out basements and patio doors. 

Waters were high outside the Selkirk condo complex last Sunday. (Submitted by Matthew Prychun)

At one point, there were nine people with seven shop vacuums frantically trying to keep the water out of her home, but it was no use. 

“I bet you we took 300 five-gallon pails out of here,” she said. 

But then, part of the wall next to the basement door started collapsing, and then it was no use. 

“At that point, you kind of took a minute and felt like, this is all for naught. it’s all going to go,” she said. 

“And then of course the tears started coming. My daughter said to me, ‘It’s OK mom, it’s just stuff.’ And she’s very right. It’s just stuff.”

Selkirk Mayor Larry Johannson says no homes are in danger from the Red River rising, and that the city has drained the retention pond at the Creekside subdivision. The city will also have crews on standby over the weekend. 

“I’m hoping that this weekend we’re going to not have those torrential rains like we had. I’m crossing my fingers. But we’ve left everything in place. All our pumping is in place.”

But Cieszynski says she and her husband aren’t taking any chances, and have borrowed an extra water pump just in case. 

Communities prepare

People in other communities in Manitoba are watching the weather, and getting ready too.

As of Friday afternoon, 78 evacuation notices had been issued in the municipality of Ritchot, just south of Winnipeg, while 17 more were issued for homes on the east side of the Red River in the RM of Montcalm, near the U.S. border.

In Morris, Highway 75 on the north side of town was closed on Friday evening, due to the construction of a dike across the roadway.

The flooded Morris River pictured on Wednesday. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

In Winnipeg, the city says crews will be clearing ditches, catch basins, and culverts of debris so water can drain more effectively, and says it’s advised one property to build a a dike. 

As of 4:03 p.m. Friday, the river level at the James Avenue gauge in Winnipeg was 17.44 feet. 

Some Winnipeg residents who had water in their basements last weekend were busy grabbing sandbags Friday in the hopes they could stop it from happening again. 

Sam Le said his hot water shut off last weekend because of the flooding. He said he bought a sump pump and was grabbing sandbags as well. 

“I feel terrible. I don’t feel good. That’s why I got some sandbags to protect the house,” he said. 

Same goes for Frank Deer, who was trying to stay positive. 

“There’s only so many things I can complain about in this world and weather probably shouldn’t be at the top of that list, so just gotta do what you can.”

Manitobans brace for another wet weekend

4 hours ago

Duration 2:11

After the rain and snow we’ve already has this spring, it’s no surprise this not helped the flooding situation. The province issued a new flood forecast today. 2:11

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