Brandon’s mayor, Shari Decter Hirst, ended off a news conference Monday afternoon with those words. The context was to thank businesses for committing their employees to work against the flood and to encourage Brandonites to let the workers do their work, stay away from dikes and don’t do foolish things that require rescue. The crews working against the raging Assiniboine are tired and cranky and they have police support. Respect them if you want your city saved. I thought it was a gutsy and appropriate thing to affirm. The Province of Manitoba is now in a state of emergency due to flooding, Brandon under the same duress since Sunday. Fools bedamned!
Volunteers hoist sandbags today re-enforcing dikes along the Assiniboine River.
Some of the businesses, notably the liquor store, are closing in the Corral Centre, Brandon’s Third Mall from the Sun, located next to the river. Stock is being relocated and staff in limbo. The closures will help decrease traffic on beleaguered 18th Street, still an open artery between north and south Brandon with one lane in either direction. Lessons in locating malls in active river valleys are being rapidly, forlornly learned in Brandon.
Seven hundred military personel from the Joint Task Force West have been assigned to Manitoba to aid the flood fight. They will be in place by Tuesday evening, some will be assisting with Brandon diking operations. The Assiniboine River is expected to crest in Brandon over the next 72 hours, by Thursday.
I’ll post another update Tuesday morning after the 10:30 press briefing by Brandon officials.