CBC Manitoba

Prevention Toolkit

  1. How do I prevent my basement from flooding?
  2. Who do I call if my basement starts to flood?
  3. Where can I go for sandbags?
  4. Who do I call for information about flood levels in my area?
  5. I live in Winnipeg. What should I expect for this year's flood?
  6. How can I volunteer?
  7. What should I do with items that have been contaminated by floodwater?
  8. Can I get sick from cleaning up after an area has been flooded?
  1. How do I prevent my basement from flooding?

    The City of Winnipeg recommends three main ways to help prevent your basement from flooding.

    • Install a backwater valve and sump pit drainage system. A backwater valve is a device that prevents sewage in an overloaded main sewer line from backing up into your basement. A sump pump system collects water around the basement and pushes water out through a discharge pipe. It's important to check if your home has a backwater valve, or sump pump drainage system. Homes built since 1979 are required to have backwater valves and new homes built since 1990 are required to have sump pits with pumps. Be sure the water from your sump pump does not drain directly onto neighboring properties, lanes, sidewalks, boulevards, streets, or your homes floor drain, because this is illegal. The City of Winnipeg's website suggests that anyone interested in having these installed should Check the Yellow Pages for reputable contractors and ask friends and neighbours for referrals.
    • Check and maintain your backwater valve and sump pit drainage system. Continue to check the valve and remove any material that may keep it from operating properly. Each year, be sure to clean your sump pit and sump pump to ensure they're working at their full potential. It's always important to make sure that nothing is blocking the flow of your discharge pipe and that the water is not flowing right against your basement wall.
    • Improve the drainage around your house. Some easy things to consider would be building up the ground around your house so that water flows away from the basement walls. It's also a good idea to extend your downspouts so that water flows away from your house.

    If your basement begins to flood, contact 311. For more information visit the City of Winnipeg's website

  2. Who do I call if my basement starts to flood?

    If your basement starts to flood, contact the City of Winnipeg by phoning 311.

  3. Where can I go for sandbags?

    The City of Winnipeg has listed a few locations where people can pickup sandbags. They are available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week, at any of the following Public Works yards: 1220 Pacific Avenue, 849 Ravelston Avenue West and 1539 Waverley Street. If you need sandbags immediately outside of these hours, contact 311 for emergency assistance. ID showing Winnipeg residency is required in order to pick up sandbags. For residents of Manitoba, outside of Winnipeg, contact your Rural Municipality office.

  4. Who do I call for information about flood levels in my area?

    There are two flood liaison offices open to provide information to residents of the Red River Valley, including details on existing flood-protection levels and the status of community ring dike closures.

    The offices are open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the current flood risk is over.

    • 871 Southwood Road in Morris: 204-746-7325
    • 200 Saulteaux Cres. In Winnipeg: 204-945-2354
  5. I live in Winnipeg. What should I expect for this year's flood?

    The crest is anticipated to hit Winnipeg between April 12-17.

    Manitoba Water Stewardship spokesman Steve Topping said the peak is still predicted to be on par with that of the 1979 flood. He said there are two main reasons why the predicted levels for Winnipeg are lower than Fargo, where new record levels have been recorded. The snow pack is lower in Manitoba and the Red River channel through Winnipeg has a greater capacity to hold the water.

  6. How can I volunteer?

    If you want information on how you can volunteer, visit the City of Winnipeg EmergWeb volunteer page.

  7. What should I do with items that have been contaminated by floodwater?

    The City of Winnipeg says that all flood soaked clothing and bedding should be washed and disinfected. They suggest washing items in warm water and using chlorine bleach, or colour-safe (oxygen) bleach as directed on the bleach container in wash cycles. The city also says that washing machines should not be used until water is safe to drink and sewer lines are clean. All mattresses, futons, quilts, comforters and pillows cannot be adequately disinfected and should be discarded.

    For more information visit the City of Winnipeg website.

  8. Can I get sick from cleaning up after an area has been flooded?

    The answer is yes. To help prevent illness during basement cleanup, the City of Winnipeg has posted the following tips on their website.

    • People should wear protective clothing, rubber boots, and waterproof gloves.
    • Hands should be washed frequently, especially before eating.
    • Avoid direct skin contact with contaminated water and surfaces.
    • Do not expose any open cuts or sores to contamination.
    • Change clothes daily and wash contaminated cloths separately from others.
    • Do not rub your mouth, eyes, ears and nose.

    For more information visit the City of Winnipeg website.