Rising water, overland flooding force evacuation of homes in southeast Manitoba Monday night

By | June 8, 2020

Three families in the rural municipality of Stuartburn voluntarily left their homes on Monday evening after they were breached by rising water.

The rural municipality of Stuartburn, in southeastern Manitoba, declared a state of local emergency on Monday morning after torrential rain lead to overland flooding and washed road roads on Sunday, with the potential for more rain on Monday.

“Since that time we have lost the battle with the flood waters and their homes have been breached,” chief administrative officer Lucie Maynard told CBC News in an email late Monday evening. 

She said the rural municipality was working on saving a fourth home in the Lonesand area.

No evacuation orders are in place, she said.

“We have many roads washed out and we will be deploying an aqua dam for one home in Lonesand and we’ve gotten several calls from homeowners requesting sandbags,” Maynard said earlier Monday afternoon.

The province issued a flood watch for northwest and southeast Manitoba on Monday.

The RM of Stuartburn said no one was evacuated from their homes as a result of flooding, but several roads were washed out. (Lucie Maynard/Submitted )

In a bulletin on Monday, Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre said water levels in local rivers and streams are rising and could lead to overland flooding in low-lying areas.

Over the weekend, a precipitation system dumped up to 155 mm of rain in southeastern parts and up to 25 mm in northwestern areas, and another system could bring an additional 30 mm of rainfall throughout the next two days, according to the province’s bulletin.

On Saturday the centre had warned about the potential for several days of heavy winds and rains that could lead to flooding and high waters in northern and southeastern Manitoba.

In a bulletin late Monday afternoon, Manitoba 511 said Highway 203, between Woodridge and Highway 404, is closed due to flooding and water over the road.

Reeve David Kiansky of Stuartburn says flooding and washed out roads are preventing access for community members and threatening the town, the surrounding community and farmlands.

“It’s serious. Everything is under water,” he said, adding that additional precipitation — on top of the 22 cm or so that he says already fell — could be devastating for the agricultural sector.

“Every farm field is basically a lake.”

He hasn’t seen this much overland flooding since the flood of ’97, when he said they were dealing with about 30 cm.

Kiansky said he is calling on higher levels of government to declare an official state of emergency so the rural municipality can benefit from the additional powers and funding that could be granted to local authorities.

The Roseau River, a tributary of the mighty Red River, runs through the farming community located 95 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

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