6 homes evacuated in southeastern Manitoba after heavy rains

By | June 9, 2020

Six homes in southeastern Manitoba cattle-ranching country were evacuated after three days of heavy rain on Tuesday.

Ten people were forced out of four homes in Lonesand, Man., about 100 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, after 10 centimetres of rain led the worst Rat River flooding since 2002.

“I went to bed and it was raining. We got up in the morning and everything’s under water out there,” said John Meda, who had to flee his cattle ranch, nestled between a bend in the Rat River and Highway 12, a trucking route connecting Minnesota to Manitoba.

Meda and his family raise 80 head of cattle, all of which are safe.

“I got them on the hill. We got the out of there, away from the river, because the calves would have drowned, the lot of them. The cows would have got away with it.”

The river started receding by Tuesday afternoon, according to the Water Survey of Canada.

WATCH | Residents scramble as floodwaters overwhelm homes:

The rural municipality of Stuartburn, near the U.S. border, declared a state of local emergency on Monday morning after torrential rain led to overland flooding of the Rat River and washed out roads on Sunday night. 0:51

The Manitoba Hydrologic Forecast Centre is now watching the higher-volume Roseau River.

Two other properties were evacuated near the Roseau, said David Kiansky, Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn, which straddles the U.S. border.

Stuartburn declared a state of local emergency on Monday morning after torrential rain led to overland flooding and washed out no fewer than 20 roads, Kiansky said.

The rapidly rising water overtook this cottage in the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn despite attempts at diking. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Over the last three days, between 96 and 150 millimetres of rain fell on that part of southeast Manitoba, and another 20 millimetres of rain is in the forecast Tuesday.

Manitoba issued a flood watchon on Monday for both northwest and southeast regions of the province, including lakes in Whiteshell Provincial Park. 

At Lonesand, Kiansky said he’s never seen anything like it before, even during the Red River flood of 1997, when much of southern Manitoba resembled a large lake. 

Dikes that have been in place for 40 years were overwhelmed by the fast-moving water, he said.

“It’s a scary situation here, with a torrent of water that come in. That’s the problem here right now,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable.”

People who have lived all their lives along the Rat River haven’t seen anything like it before, he said.

Meda said he’s been through 20 floods since he moved to his ranch at Lonesand.

“They weren’t like this. This is a master flood. Those were just baby floods,” he said.

The flooding put some fields underwater Monday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC )

Kelly Stadnyk, who has lived in the RM of Stuartburn for 28 years, woke up Monday morning to see her entire yard was flooded. 

She said she’s not as worried about her home because it’s high off the ground, but she does worry about roads being flooded out.

She’s also worried for her friends and their homes. 

“I know that most of my co-workers that live in town, their sump pumps have not stopped going off. It’s constant,” she said. “So if the power goes out, they’re in trouble, so that’s scary.”

Dwayne Tesarski’s home is on Highway 12 near the Rat River. He says his property started flooding on Sunday night, and by Monday his living room was under water. 0:56

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