Tuesday, 28 June 2011

On Alert!

Should we start building the ark now?!?!?!

What an unnerving couple of weeks lay ahead of us here in Southern Manitoba.  Melita, Hartney, Souris and Wawanesa are all on flood alert with the Souris River hurtling mega volumes of water our way.  The destruction in Minot goes without saying and the ferocity and speed at which it is coming here sounds unprecedented.

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I have been told that the blue tape on the pole represents the expected level that the water will crest at and the red tape shows where the dike needs to be built up to.  In my mind that is huge!  The river is already over it’s banks by a long way and in relation to where that blue tape is makes me shutter in my rubber boots.

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This is the view from the driveway across the street from the river – in most years you would be hard pressed to see very much of the river except over at the very far edge.  The rest is usually grass and river bank.  You can see there on the right hand side of the photo where they have started to build a clay dike.  The view outside of these people’s front window will be reduced to nothing but a clay wall by the time all the construction is done.

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We took a late night walk last night so that I could have a look at what has been going on.  My husband has taken the past two days off work to help in the sandbagging efforts and we are told that a mandatory evacuation for this whole block of town comes into effect sometime this afternoon.  Once that evacuation is in place I’m doubtful that they will be letting anyone past the road blocks so I figured that this was my only chance to get some photos.  As someone said to me – “This is history in the making.”  I hate being a lookie-lou, but luckily most everyone had shut down for the night and we weren’t impeding progress with our little tour.

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At this particular house they have had to rip off the deck completely so that they could place sandbags around it.  It is rumoured that this house has had water spurting in the basement walls for the past couple of weeks – not just from seeping up from the floor but actually spurting randomly from all over the walls.  This house is one of the closest ones to the river and usually has concerns during regular years – this most definitely is not a regular year.

There are 17 houses and the personal care/hospital evacuated at this time and another whole section of river front homes has been put on alert.

Our house is four houses up from the evacuated area.

Everyone is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst – the crest is expected somewhere between July 7th to 11th.  Certainly nail-biting times around here.  Some meander quilting going on when I get a chance – calms the nerves you know!

6 comments:

Myra said...

Oh my goodness Marlene! My heart goes out to all those effected by all this water this year!!! It is terrible!!
That is pretty darn close to you!!! Do you think you will have to evacuate too?
I told my husband that we'll all need an ark if this carries on for the next few years!!! There are so many terrible things going on all over the world these days!!!

greelyrita said...

It sounds like moving to higher ground might be a great idea. Surely this will happen again. Is it just the amount of rainfall this year or is there another contributing factor? Perhaps loosing the house from the foundation and making it floatable is not such an outrageous idea. It could slide up and down mooring posts like they do along the ocean coast with docks to accomodate the tides. Crazy.

Jennifer said...

Fingers crossed for you - I grew up in a town which regularly flooded (although we lived on a hill, way out of reach of the river) until dykes were built some years ago. Floods can be very destructive.

What Comes Next? said...

how nerve wracking! This year has just been awful. My fingers are crossed that it doesn't reach the height they are forecasting and that everything and everyone pulls through unharmed.

Annette said...

We are having a lot of flood problems in our area too...fortunately I am farther away from it than you are. Stay safe Marlene.

Anonymous said...

Water is a huge concern for Manitobans this year. It seems that just when you think you can relax somewhat Mother Nature has other plans. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by high water this year. Stay strong, stay safe and hopefully your homes will stay dry. A Northern Manitoba mother of a Wawanesa daughter.