Daily Archives: May 18, 2011

Manitoba Flood Update – Wednesday, May 18

Reid Dickie

This is one of my favourite pictures of the thousands taken of Manitoba`s “high water event” as our flood is euphemistically known among disaster bureaucrats. The picture was taken in the Corral Centre shopping mall in Brandon, now closed and virtually deserted for over a week. How hopeful to see it still doesn`t take long for Nature to begin reclaiming the results of our folly.

The Assiniboine dropped 10 inches at Brandon since this time yesterday prompting guarded optimism among local flood officials. In some places in east Brandon, the aqua dams are being removed from the tops of the dikes as water levels subside.  The freeboard is now unnecessary.

The 1400 Brandon evacuees and the 120 local businesses, closed due to flood risk, will be waiting, at least, into June to return to normal. One north-bound lane of First Street has been reopened through the flood plain.

Downstream the Portage Diversion still carries an enormous amount of water from the Assiniboine north into Lake Manitoba. Since the Diversion has been diked and re-diked over the past few weeks in order to carry greater flow, in fact burdened with water levels it was never designed to accommodate, the dikes are now beginning to deteriorate. Tonight Manitoba Water Stewardship is deeply concerned about the integrity of the Diversion dikes and potential for widespread flooding along its route to Lake Manitoba.

Meanwhile, predictably, residents along the Lake Manitoba shore are feeling the brunt of all this new water from the Assiniboine and scrambling to evacuate or sandbag their properties. This picture is of Peter Bradley in his front yard at Twin Beach on the Lake Manitoba shore.

Beyond Portage the intentional flooding from a cut in the dike at Hoop and Holler Bend is now being spun as a just-in-case scenario, trying to justify the miniscule flows which haven`t gone above 400 cfs (cubic feet per second), a piddly amount in the Assiniboine`s massive volume. Selinger Lake continues to creep across the land aimlessly searching for some real purpose, some suggestion of reason. Maybe when it communes with Elm River and the La Salle River then seeks the wisdom of the mighty Red River, perhaps by then the piddles from Hoop and Holler Bend will finally find enlightenment.

We are chasing the water north, getting it into Hudson Bay as quick as we can. We are in control. What a delicious delusion that public officials conjure for a gullible populace!

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Filed under Flood, Natural Places, Prairie People

Summer Mobility

Reid Dickie

On the road again!

I picked up the summer car from Enterprise Car Rental on Monday and the tradition of the Mighty Avenger continues. Last summer I rented Avengers from ECR and drove 27,000 kms between the two of them. This year, due to the fine efforts of manager Brayden, I have the new generation of Avengers to accompany me – a 2011 SXT in a ghostly silver colour with less than 6000 kms on it, just a baby really. We’ll be getting to know each other well over the next few months.

My wanderlust isn’t as powerful or compelling as it was last summer. I am well into the acceptance phase of my grief for Linda. I feel incrementally more peaceful everyday, more comfortable with my new life. I’m not sure exactly what adventures the Mighty Avenger and I will have this summer. A few sacred places are beckoning me back.

I do know my first road trip will be this Friday to attend the funeral of a well-respected friend from Shoal Lake, Joe Fikkert. I grew up with his sons, worked in his bakery and always enjoyed the company of this jovial intelligent man and his lovely and talented wife, Joan. I proudly own one of Joan’s wonderful paintings. Without stint, Joe served his community long and well and will be missed by many. So long Joe, it was great to know you.

Be assured that wherever my travels take me, I will always return here, to ReadReidRead to report what happened.

On the way out and back on Friday, I’ll cover some of the flooded areas so will have pictures and first-hand information here upon my return.

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Filed under Blog Life, Day Tripping, Roadside Attractions