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Water main to blame for downtown Winnipeg apartment flooding

The building on Garry Street fenced off on Wednesday morning.
The building on Garry Street fenced off on Wednesday morning. Corey Callaghan / Global News

The owners of a downtown Winnipeg apartment building that was evacuated Tuesday night due to a water main break say they’re still waiting on a timeline for residents to return home.

Hugh Mansfield, senior adviser for Timbercreek Communities, the owner of the block, told 680 CJOB most residents of 70 Garry are waiting it out in hotels while the damage is assessed.

“We had the foresight to book some blocks of some hotels pretty immediately on Tuesday, so when the evacuation order came in which we were anticipating, we had places for everybody to go,” said Mansfield.

“Not everyone took us up on that offer — several of them chose to go with family and friends.

“We’re still, as you can imagine, sorting through the assessment of what the extent of the damages are.”

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Mansfield said the flooding was isolated to the basement, so there was no water damage to individual apartments, and that the company is hoping to give residents a ‘roadmap’ Thursday as to when they can return home.

Read more: Downtown Winnipeg apartment building evacuated after water damage

“Sadly, water is certainly a very dangerous enemy to anyone that lives in a home or has a basement… and in this case, it was a water main outside the main door to the residence that burst,” he said.

“We have obviously got that turned off, but with a water main, unlike a sprinkler system, it’s a considerable amount of water coming into your location, so it filled the basement up fast.”

As the flooding happened overnight, he said, no one was in the basement at the time, and there were no injuries as a result of the incident, although the building did lose power.

Mansfield said the operation to pump water out of the basement alone is a six to eight-hour job, so it’s currently a waiting game while engineers, electrical workers, and other experts do the necessary work. The timeline for residents to return is still a question mark.

“We’re hopeful that it won’t be for a long period of time — ideally days — but I don’t want to say too much until the pros — the experts — have given us the, ‘here’s what it’s going to take’.”

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