Manitoba flooding: Peguis First Nation under mandatory evacuation order

Swollen rivers flood roads, prompt evacuations in some areas of Manitoba

Peguis First Nation, about 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg, is under a mandatory evacuation order after ice jams on the Fisher River drove up water levels.

“Prompt action is required to ensure all community members can safely be evacuated before the potential loss of access to the community and to prevent harm or damage to the safety, health or welfare of persons…,” says a message on the Peguis website.

“Crossings have been opened up allowing water to move faster through the community. Overland flooding is occurring in some areas from ice buildup at the mouth of the Fisher River.”

More than 200 homes close to the river and housing close to 900 people were evacuated. Residents were sent to hotels in nearby communities, including Selkirk, Gimli and Winnipeg.

There is currently a call out for people to work as sandbaggers and general labourers.

“Households are recommended to secure emergency food/water to cover 72 HOURS in the event there is a power outage,” says the website.

“It is a good idea to have a portable generator to power up lights, fuel, charge up phones, fridge, freezers, sump-pumps, etc. Stock up on batteries, flashlights and candles.

“Members are asked to fill their tubs (for using toilets by keeping water closets full) and any clean receptacles with drinking water for use during a power outage.”

Any member who has concerns is invited to call the Peguis Emergency Operations Centre: (204) 645-2869

Here are some local emergency numbers:

Peguis Emergency Operations Centre: (204) 645-2869
24-Hour Housing Emergency: (204) 308-1324
Peguis Firehall: (204) 645-2000 (Medical Emergencies only)

South of Winnipeg, water has risen to cover some rural roads, requiring people to evacuate before losing road access.

The Manitoba government says southern parts of the province received four to six times the normal amount of precipitation in April.

The forecast contains some good news with dry, warm weather predicted for the remainder of the week.

The Red River Valley, including Winnipeg, is largely protected by community dikes and diversion channels that were expanded after the so-called flood of the century in 1997.

With files from the Canadian Press

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