Some southern Manitoba residents spent Easter weekend evacuating their homes as floodwaters crept closer to their homes.
The Rural Municipality of Montcalm’s reeve Paul Gilmore says the community declared a state of emergency on Saturday in order to help evacuate households along St. Mary’s Road and PR 246.
“The local emergency is strictly for that area which is on the east side of the river and basically with the breaches in the road, there’s no exit for the residents there. That’s not a very good situation for them, so that’s the reason for the local emergency,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore added the emergency declaration also allows for appropriate infrastructural actions to be taken in order to mitigate property damage caused by floodwaters.
By the end of the day on Easter Sunday, Gilmore expects six households will have been evacuated.
Gilmore hopes the levels don’t exceed what they saw last spring.
“We don’t expect it to change drastically,” he said.
“Last season’s levels, if they’re at that level this year, that was the only area that was breached.”
In the province’s latest report released Saturday, the Red River could see its peak near Morris as early as April 17.
Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says the Red River Floodway began operations Friday evening.
In Winnipeg, the Red River level is 18.7 feet at James Avenue.
This flood season the City of Winnipeg has informed 41 property owners that their properties require dikes, while an additional 16 properties are at risk of river flooding and may also require dikes.
The city says property owners are responsible for building their own sandbag dikes, and should follow the province’s social distancing protocols.
The city says they recognize homeowners may be experiencing difficulty in finding volunteers to help build sandbag dikes and may provide assistance.