More Water Sooner!
It’s the next crest of the Souris River that we are watching and preparing for now. Water volumes arriving from North Dakota are higher than expected making existing dikes inadequate to the coming water levels. The new crests could start arriving in Manitoba by the end of the week, sooner than anticipated.
Melita, already virtually under siege by the Souris River, is calling for more volunteers to fill sandbags and do other duties and they are paying $15 an hour. If you can help out call the Melita town office at 522-3413. Mayor Bob Walker seems pretty confident the dike system will hold but he says two businesses near the dikes have been evacuated. So far no homes in Melita have been evacuated but that could change quickly. One section of the town is on alert.
A little further downstream Wawanesa begins to evacuate homes. Evacuation notices have been issued for 13 homes. Residents will have to be out by 6 pm Tuesday. Wawanesa mayor Bruce Gullet says it’s a precaution as is evacuating Wawanesa’s personal care home for the second time. He says the entire dike system is being rebuilt to make it stronger and higher. Volunteers are needed badly in Wawanesa as well.
The town of Souris has issued approximately 30 more mandatory evacuation notices for homes. Residents, mostly right along the Souris River and Plum Creek, must be out today. Sixty-four homes in Souris have already been evacuated. Famous for having the longest swinging bridge, which spans the Souris, crews have determined that saving the bridge is too risky. With the strong current, the landmark may be swept away. The town’s dike system is being raised and reinforced. Souris emergency coordinator Sven Kreusch says they have requested military help but received no response.
If these small towns are having to pay for “volunteers” to help protect them, isn’t it a no-brainer to get the troops back to support these flood-weary people. Various protocols have to be satisfied for this to happen but, while the bureaucracy grinds slowly, the Souris River rises fast and travels furiously. While the province provides engineers to determine required dike work, they have few bodies to contribute to the actual building. I would hate to think Tsar Selinger is holding back on inviting the military to assist because they would steal his thunder, such as it is. Selinger is desperate. He needs to seem competent at something/anything but comes off looking cynical, manipulative and unkind again.
I don’t watch television but my friend Terry said the CBS Evening News translated the French word souris, meaning mouse, into English, changing the name of the river from Souris to the Mouse River. Pronouncing a word as complex as souris (sir’ iss) would be a major challenge for American talking heads and editors.
I took this picture of the Portage Diversion at Trans Canada Highway crossing yesterday. It’s still almost filled to the brim but with a little freeboard to accommodate the Souris now barreling toward it.