RM of St. Andrews looking for solutions following flood scare
Residents living in the RM of St. Andrews spent their weekend on high alert after water on Netley Creek rose almost six inches every thirty minutes on Saturday.
On Sunday at around 6 p.m. some residents chose to voluntarily evacuate after firefighters went door to door warning people to be ready to leave at any time.
It’s not the first time residents in the area have been given that same warning. In years past, evacuations throughout the whole were carried out.
“I had packed in the morning so I was ready. We’re used to the procedures now with having done this a few times before,” says Ray Morris, who lives along Netley Creek.
Water levels have dropped four feet as of Monday, with nearby fields and roads no longer covered by flood water.
A crew, including the RM’s mayor Joy Sul, flew over the area on Saturday and found a large ice jam two kilometres south of Netley Creek blocking water flow on the Red River.
The jam melted significantly overnight, allowing the community to breath easily once again.
“Our volunteer fire department has worked long, long hours along with our public works department,” Sul said.
Numerous tiger dams and sandbags were laid around the Netley Creek area to protect properties and a nearby campground.
Sul says she’d like to see a more permanent solution involving building dikes around the area to avoid a drain on the RM’s resources.
“It’s a lot of work for our fire department setting up those tiger dams — up to 18 to 24 hours’ worth.”
She hopes to work with the province to improve the regional municipality’s flood strategy going forward.
“We want to work with the province — we’ll have a debrief with them to see how we can try and come to a permanent solution,” she said.
Flood protection set up by the RM will remain in place until after the Red River is expected to crest sometime next week.
“We are going to stay on watch. We’re going to leave the flood protection in place until after the peak and then we will start dismantling stuff,” says the RM’s emergency coordinator, Jim Stinson.
WATCH: Flood preparations underway on the Red River