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Heavy rain washes out roads, floods farmland in Manitoba rural municipality

Click to play video 'RM of Stuartburn Flooding' RM of Stuartburn Flooding
The Rural Municipality of Stuartburn has declared a state of local emergency after being hammered by torrential rains. Amber McGuckin reports.

The Rural Municipality of Stuartburn has declared a state of local emergency after being hammered by torrential rains.

The municipality, located along the Manitoba-Minnesota border, is in a region that received up to 155 millimetres of rain over the past few days, according to the province.

Forecasts are calling for the rural municipality, which includes the communities of Vita, Sundown and Caliendo, to see more precipitation overnight and into mid-week.

The RM of Piney has also declared a state of local emergency due to the conditions.

Stuartburn Reeve David Kiansky told 680 CJOB some people might need to be evacuated, depending on how bad it gets, which would be a first in his experience.

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“We had four houses go underwater — there was another one that’s now underwater, and we need to get an emergency boat there… but the current is so strong, we don’t know how we’re going to do that.

“It’s basically a total disaster right now. It’s one big lake.

“All the grain and whatever the (local farmers) planted last week, and were hoping for a cash crop, is now finished,” Kiansky said.

A drenched field just south of Vita.
A drenched field just south of Vita. Shelly Heinrichs/Submitted photo

READ MORE: Southeastern Manitoba soaked by weekend thunderstorms

Kiansky said the community is trying to protect the roads as some have already washed out — something that hasn’t happened since the flood of the century over two decades ago.

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“We haven’t seen that since 1997. That’s the last time water flowed overtop (of the roads),” he said.

“It’s a real big event, and it caught us off guard completely, and within a few hours, we’re in a disaster situation.”

The town of Vita was inundated with more than 60 mm of rain on Sunday alone, and more precipitation is in the forecast overnight.

John Meda, who has lived in the municipality since 1955, told Global News there are now fish swimming his driveway.
Meda and his neighbours are assessing their homes that are now surrounded by water.
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“This whole area, the whole of Stuartburn, is all underwater. We’ve never seen it like that yet. You have a part (flooded), but not all,” he said.
Meda said he and others in the area are concerned about the cattle in their fields as well.
“The calves, they could get pneumonia. We can’t get there, so we’re just going to have to wait until the water goes down and then we’ll check it out.”

 

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Click to play video 'Rising flood waters in Manitoba over the Easter weekend' Rising flood waters in Manitoba over the Easter weekend
Rising flood waters in Manitoba over the Easter weekend