PEGUIS FIRST NATION, MAN.-The Peguis First Nation is under a mandtory evacuation and sandbagging has begun after ice jams on the Fisher River pushed up water levels at the First Nation community 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Chief Glen Hudson said they have started sandbagging and have about 480 homes surrounded by water and roads breached Monday.
He said more than 900 people living in about 200 homes close to the river have been evacuated to hotels in nearby communities, including Selkirk, Gimli and Winnipeg. “We have been seeing waters at unprecedented levels as far as the Fisher River watershed is concerned,” said Hudson, who added that water appears to be higher than during the community’s last major flood evacuation in 2011.
Chief Hudson said many community members have chosen to stay behind and help save what they can in the community. He said they have been sandbagging homes that are not under water.
Other parts of the community have homeowners running sump pumps in outside yards to keep water at bay.
Chief and council of the neighbouring community of Fisher River Cree Nation issued a state of emergency over the weekend.
A community flood update is posted online .
The Fisher River emergency response team set up a Tiger Dam — stacked, long tubes containing water – around some homes Monday that has helped keep the water a certain level.
Some roads south of Winnipeg have been covered by water.
The Manitoba government said some regions received four to six times the normal amount of precipitation in April, much of it in the form of snow that was melting at the same time as heavy rains fell on the weekend but dry, warm weather was predicted for the remainder of the week.
The Red River Valley, including Winnipeg, Morris and other areas, is largely protected by community dikes and diversion channels that were expanded after the so-called flood of the century in 1997.
The Peguis First Nation said a response team will help evacuate residents with mobility challenges. It said all evacuees must be registered before leaving the community at its emergency operations centre at the Peguis Multiplex or by calling 204-645-2869.
Further details of the evacuation order can be found on the First Nation’s website.