BULLETIN! BULLETIN! BULLETIN!
Access to Brandon remains limited from the north with First Street still closed at the top of the North Hill. The fast moving water of the Assiniboine River is lifting and warping the asphalt on First Street from below. Dikes along the strip are under constant surveillance this morning with re-enforcement continuing.
To the west on 18th Street, traffic is limited to one lane in each direction. Dikes there appear to be holding but re-enforcement continues. The Kia, Toyota and Mazda dealerships have all deserted the lowlands, moving their vehicles to higher ground wherever they could find it. Motels, service stations, restaurants, convenience stores – every business along 18th Street in the valley is closed, shuttered and waiting. Almost 40 stores in Corral Centre, the entire mall, have shut down. Some have started moving merchandise.
Brandon’s spiffy new firehall is near the river but sits at some elevation, hopefully enough. In case the city is split in two and separated by raging water, some fire trucks and equipment have been moved to the north side of the river.
Over 1000 people have been evacuated from The Flats with more evacuation notices likely to come today.
All the while, uncaring about commerce or insouciance and bringing us the double-edged gift of worry and insignificance, the mighty Assiniboine surges on, stretching its watery fingers across the land, caressing wherever it wants, relentless in its quest for the bay.
The river is expected to crest in Brandon this week, no one seems certain when but likely within the next 60 hours. Good luck Brandon.
Next report coming late Tuesday morning.