A western Manitoba community and its 130 residents are cut off from the outside world as flooding has washed out roads and bridges in and out of the area.
Mafeking, north of Swan River, was effectively isolated as of Tuesday morning, and RM of Mountain reeve Robert Hanson told 680 CJOB’s The Start that it’s left many residents anxious, especially if medical treatment becomes necessary.
“If we have a medical emergency problem now, we have to have them medevaced out by helicopter,” Hanson said.
“Some of them are elders, and they get pretty stressed out if they can’t move out of here. Our ambulance station is unoccupied right now, because the paramedics can’t get in here.”
Although Hanson said he’s hoping for at least one bridge to be cleared later on Tuesday, the forecast isn’t looking particularly welcoming.
“It’s supposed to start raining this morning, and we’re supposed to get rain for the next three days,” he said.
“If it’s light rain, we can handle that. But if it’s heavy rain like before, we’re going to be back in another major problem.”
Throughout western Manitoba, particularly in the Parklands region, flash flooding from heavy rain last week, combined with melting snow, has greatly interfered with roads and damaged bridges and culverts.
In southern Manitoba, rain is also in the forecast, according to the province’s latest flood outlook.
The Hydrologic Forecast Centre says the coming system could bring 20 to 50 millimetres of rain by Friday. Depending on how much precipitation actually falls, and where, it could affect ongoing flood prevention efforts.