Brandon Flood Update – Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reid Dickie

        Brandon city flood officials and Mayor Shari Decter Hirst held their usual 4 p.m. flood briefing, the room still jammed with national media as interest and severity grows. Overall the river level hasn’t risen today but is not expected to remain stable. Crews are still re-enforcing dikes along the south side of the river near the evacuated area. No evacuation of the north side of the river at this time. It was affirmed this is the highest water level of the Assiniboine River “since Brandon existed.” The hazardous goods bypass, Route 110, has been closed with water over the highway. Re-diking is planned and the road may open on Wednesday, but don’t count on it. Meanwhile everybody coming in from the north enters Brandon via Kemnay, west of the city.

Officials confirmed there is at least a foot of freeboard around the diking system. Today was a windy, rainy, grey day in Brandon, the waves lapped high and hard against the dikes. It was a test. The mayor supplied four good news aspects to the situation including a conversation she had with an eight-year-old girl who was going to university. Students from Kirkcaldy School, located in the valley, start classes at Brandon University tomorrow since their school is in the flood risk zone. The university is supplying classroom space for the K to 8 students. The girl was very excited about the new experience. The mayor stressed what a relief it must be for the parents and what a great example of the community pulling together when under common distress. She also commended the volunteers for their continuing efforts.

Two stores remain open in Corral Centre, hardware and groceries. The Assiniboine is expected to crest within the next 48 hours. The best Brandon can do tonight is hope for no wind to stress the dikes further and to pray the rain stops though forecasts predict rain and/or showers until Saturday.

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Filed under Flood, Natural Places, PRAIRIES

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