Daily Archives: June 11, 2011

Giant Manitoba Sinkhole Update

Reid Dickie

I saw this giant sinkhole just outside Riding Mountain National Park south of Dauphin, MB firsthand on Thursday evening. Here is my initial post about it. Today I have some new information about the pit. Already fifty feet deep, the pit is getting deeper! One account thought it was now over 100 feet deep. Here is a picture I took of the sinkhole on Thursday and one of the ford of the Vermillion River which runs near the giant pit. Stay tuned for more on this. Watch my short video clip of the sinkhole.

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Filed under Earth Phenomena, Flood, Local History, Natural Places, Parks

Manitoba Flood Update June 11, 2011 – My Driving Tour

Reid Dickie

Last Thursday I took a drive into rural Manitoba, destination Dauphin, to check out the aftermath of the torrential rains we received at the beginning of the week. There’s still water everywhere!

I travelled out the Trans Canada Highway west from Winnipeg to Portage. At the TCH crossings of the Assiniboine River, the water was as high as it’s ever been this spring. The Portage Diversion, carrying water from the Assiniboine into Lake Manitoba, was filled to the brim again. There appeared to be topping up activities along the dike. I turned onto Hwy #16 and didn’t encounter much new flooding until around Woodside, past Gladstone and almost into Neepawa, where the Whitemud River had spilled its banks. For miles and miles ditches and fields on both sides of the highway were flooded, as far as the eye could see in some places. The Whitemud drains the southeastern foothills of Riding Mountain, exactly where heavy rain fell Monday and Tuesday, causing flash flooding along its course. The earth here is already saturated, flash floods now more possible. This picture shows the brown murky water of the Whitemud, which has a distinct sewage odour, flooding the lower section of a rest stop on Hwy #16 before the Arden turnoff. Manitoba Water Stewardship (MWS) says the Whitemud will remain high until the runoff abates.

I turned north in Hwy #5 along the east side of Riding Mountain, crossing many of the streams that feed the Whitemud. Most of them were full and fast flowing. As I passed Ste. Rose du Lac I could see their ring dike which they just recently reopened. That evening my cousin Vonda and I took a drive east of Dauphin to view the flooding around Dauphin Lake. Dauphin Beach and Ochre Beach are inundated with many waterfront properties diked with heavy stones piled along the beach to protect their property from wave erosion. Many properties were flooded, sandbags were available at several locations  and people were busy hauling them away. The worst areas are Ochre Beach and Crescent Cove. The picture above is an aerial view of Crescent Cove on Dauphin Lake that appeared on the front of this week’s Dauphin Herald. The other pictures are ones I took of Dauphin Beach and Ochre Beach and show water levels that are still high but have subsided from the storm earlier in the week. Click to enlarge any picture.

Yesterday (Friday) I drove home through Riding Mountain National Park where I spotted deer, a coyote and a moose lifting its dripping head out of the swamp water with a mouth full of water weeds, a classic Hinterland Who’s Who moment. Trucks three axles or more cannot travel the highway through the park due to some soft road conditions. Overall, it’s still a pleasant and easy drive through a beautiful lush forest.

My next encounter with flood water was in the valley of the Little Saskatchewan River south of Erickson. Some of the fields were still flooded and the river hurtled along filled to the brink. The same river flows through Minnedosa which was diked in several areas. I drove south to Brandon and surveyed their situation. First and Eighteenth Streets are open and still thoroughly diked to about twelve feet. The water has receded in some areas around Brandon but a new crest of the Assiniboine is expected this week, returning the river to its record highs of a month ago.

As they await the next crest, towns and cities all along the Assiniboine from St. Lazare to Winnipeg are on tenterhooks. The town of Souris has declared a local state of emergency and sandbaggers are working day and night against the Souris River. In this picture a Souris family prepares to leave their diked home as the flood waters rise. Wawanesa is under the same conditions though MWS says the Assiniboine is now cresting in both those towns. More rain is expected early next week so they remain on alert. See NASA’s view of Souris River flooding.

The place least worried about this is Winnipeg. If the Assiniboine gets too high, ‘Magic’ Duff Selinger, Manitoba’s unelected premier, has promised to open Hoop and Holler Bend again to relieve the nasty river of a few hundred cubic feet of water per second so he can don his Moses outfit and blink and grin again. This man is so dumb he thinks this cynical ploy will work twice on Manitobans. We got it the first time – it was a fake-out, a publicity stunt. This time there is more at stake. The government has bungled Lake Manitoba water management so badly this year, both with the actual level of the lake and dealing with the tragic human aftermath of man-made flooding, they need a saviour move at Hoop and Holler Bend to divert attention away from their big mistakes on the big lake. MWS reported yesterday the Fairford River outlet from Lake Manitoba is flowing at its highest level ever. Grain of salt, folks. I just can’t believe what these people say any longer. The above After picture is of Twin Lakes Beach on Lake Manitoba after recent devastation from high water and winds. Compare it to this Before picture from the 1980s.

It’s becoming the flood that never ends. Build an ark people, build an ark. Get a grant or maybe even a buyout after the flood from the province to build it. Which reminds me the widely touted parting of the Red River by Moses Selinger has been moved off the back burner, I hear. Stay tuned.

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Filed under Flood, Local History, Natural Places, PRAIRIES

Giant Sinkhole in Manitoba

Reid Dickie

The Fisher boys thought they had a pretty good crop of timothy for hay coming along with the wet weather and all. One morning last week a large portion of the crop sank fifty feet straight down leaving a gaping maw in the field. The Vermillion River, swollen with Riding Mountain rains, runs nearby and may have contributed to the phenomenon.

My cousin Vonda who lives at the foot of the north side of Riding Mountain, and I went looking for the sinkhole using directions from the land’s renter. We found a fallow field and trudged across it for a quarter mile toward a crop thinking the sinkhole was nearby. It wasn’t. When we got back to the truck, the land owner had turned up on an ATV wondering who was walking his field. We said we were looking for the sinkhole. Anthony Genik said, “You guys aren’t very good trackers, are you?” We weren’t as we’d driven right past the field less than a quarter mile back. We introduced ourselves and Anthony directed us to the pit, giving us a guided tour.

The sinkhole is huge, its edge clearly defined. Anthony estimated the hole is more than fifty feet deep in some places, it covers about three acres (the size of two Canadian football fields, no end zones) and it appears to have dropped right down. The trees around the field sank as well, also straight down, none falling over. Anthony said a geologist is coming out to view the sinkhole and offer possible explanations for it. Whatever the scientists think, the sight of the sunken earth made me realize our insignificance and yet gave me a thrill to be present with it. Watch my short video clip of the site.

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Filed under Day Tripping, Parks

My Blogging Life – The First Six Months

Reid Dickie

Hello and thank you, my beautiful audience,

It was six months ago today ReadReidRead began its blog life and I am thrilled, astounded and humbled to report that my blog is approaching 25,000 hits!! It appears I have succeeded in finding my audience, which was one of my resolutions for 2011. I have had lucky help along the way, namely the flood which continues to develop and which draws hundreds of hits every day. People want to know and see what’s happening in a certain area. The internet is loaded with flood pictures from which I have judiciously selected ones to include on my blog. I have tried to look inside the ‘high water event’ as well as offer the current flood status of various regions. I received my first grateful comment about my flood coverage this week. Thank you for returning to my blog for flood updates.

In addition to the flood, I am getting lots of people checking out other parts of my blog. The most popular pages are Birdland, Sacred Places, Houses, Churches and About. Thank you for wanting to know more about me by clicking on About. Posts that have a life of their own include Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Rooster Town and Obituary Euphemisms.

Has blogging affected my lifestyle? Drastically! Being a retired writer is a bit of an oxymoron because old writers never die, they just backspace once too often. Writing is such a pleasure for me that attempting to retire from something that wasn’t work to begin with is a bit of a trick. I know, poor me. Such a dilemma to have!

Even after six months of this, I still put in at least four to five hours a day working on my blog. I love exploring the guts of it, the background information WordPress supplies about search terms, popularity of posts and pages and specific clicks in a post or page. As I’ve learned more about blogs, I’ve expanded “my little empire” as a friend calls both my blogs (this one and Shoal Lake History), the DickTool Co YouTube channel and my Flickr image collections.

Here’s the First Six Months of ReadReidRead By the Numbers

Number of posts: over 350

Pages: 13

Categories: 64

Tags: over 2650

Comments: about 100

Best day: May 12 with 935 hits at height of first wave of flood

Hits in May: 12,058, average 389 per day

Hits in June: about 5500, average about 500 per day

Most Popular Post: Manitoba Flooding – 890 hits

Most Popular Page: Birdland – 840 hits  

These are amazing numbers! Thank you for checking into my mind from time to time. I promise to continue sharing the quirky and soulful events of my inner life along with the external quirky and soulful stuff that floats my way. My summer travels begin soon so there may be a couple of days without a post but know I remain diligent.

oao

Reid

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Filed under Blog Life, Flood, shaman, Spirit