City will assist homeowners with sandbagging if needed during pandemic

By | April 6, 2020

WINNIPEG — The City of Winnipeg said it can provide assistance to people who need to sandbag to protect their homes from flooding, as the city prepares for the river to crest this weekend.

Jay Shaw, assistant manager of emergency operations, made the announcement during a news conference Monday afternoon, noting exceptions can be made due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize that the homeowners may be experiencing difficulties in finding volunteers to help build these dikes,” he said. “In these instances, the city may provide assistance.”

Shaw said a preliminary estimate for the river cresting is the Easter weekend.

On Monday, the city identified 41 properties that would need to build dikes to protect their homes.

He adds it would require evaluating the property to determine the need, and assisting the homeowner with finding volunteers.

Shaw added the city will take physical distancing measures into effect when sandbagging.

“If we’re washing our hands, if we’re not showing up to build a sandbag dike if you’re sick, if you’re sick, please stay home, and if you’re using gloves and a little bit of protective equipment, then we really minimize the risk as best as possible,” he said.

“We know Winnipeggers and Manitobans are going to step up and help each other up as the weather warms up and we need to be able to build these dikes.”

Sandbagging a home remains the responsibility of the homeowner, including finding volunteers, said Shaw.

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