PEGUIS, Man. â€” Flooding caused by ice jams on the Fisher River have forced the evacuation of over 80 homes on a Manitoba First Nation, the community’s chief says.
Glenn Hudson of the Peguis First Nation says floodwater reached some of the homes, while others were evacuated because water had cut off their road access.
The community has suffered numerous floods over the years, and Hudson says emergency response teams are experienced and were able to get people out quickly.
He says the evacuees have gone to two hotels in Winnipeg, about 180 kilometres south.
The Manitoba government says five states of local emergency have been registered with the province due to overland flooding, much of which is due to melting ice which blocks the flow of rivers.
Hudson says crews in the community have been using heavy equipment to clear ice on the river, and that the water level appears to be stable.
“It’s about staying the same right now, I think, with the work being done on the river where we’re clearing ice jams and that sort of thing, we’re hoping that it will recede,” Hudson said Sunday.
Winnipeg was also bracing for high water as the weekend approached. The Red River Floodway was opened to channel water around the city, and sandbags were placed to protect 25 properties on Saturday with another 25 told to be ready to do the same.
On Sunday, the city said river levels had stabilized overnight, but it still requested those 25 properties that weren’t immediately required to build sandbag dikes to remain on standby.
The city said it has 60,000 sandbags ready to go, if required.
The province reported that a number of highways were closed due to the flooding and it warned motorists to avoid driving through moving water.
“The water depth can be unpredictable and current can push vehicles off the road,” a statement from the province warned.
The Canadian Press