Adverse effects of artificial flooding

Monday, April 29

(Submitted by Cheryl Kennedy Courcelles)

Cheryl Kennedy Courcelles

Cheryl lives just outside St Adolphe.

Here we go again, the province has sent out their email, Facebook, Twitter and media announcements that they shall be operating the floodway gates, in accordance to the operations of the floodway. What is the ripple effect of these operations?

Well, those flood waters now hit the gate and come backwards into the R.M. of Ritchot until it reaches an artificial level of forced flooding into the floodway channel.

What does that mean for us? It means that we have to deal with the 6.6-foot rise that is coming upstream from the south, as well, we will then be hit with about another four feet of water or so coming backwards at us from the operations.

This forces the Red River to leave her banks and start artificially flooding us through the fields, ditches, and low-lying areas.

What saddens us, and it is extremely painful to watch and listen to, is what happens to the wildlife when these silent, dirty, wood-loaded and ice-cold flood waters start covering up their nests and dens and taking over their homes and wild lands.

Small creatures like the squirrels and raccoons get stranded for weeks on the tree tops, and we slowly have to see them frantically searching for food crying out for help -- or worse yet, when it goes all silent and we know they have starved to death.

The looks on the faces of deer, full of fear and exhaustion, as these waters come back at them and force them to cross St Mary's Road and Highway 75, taking their lives and ours into jeopardy. It pushes them to move into new areas to find food and safety in another herd's territory, when they are very pregnant and weak from such a harsh winter already, and then territory fights begin for all species of animals, including the foxes and coyotes.

These artificial flood waters are very hard on the wild and private vegetation and trees. With the spring flood waters so late this year, it means that the trees are in different stages of development and cannot take being submersed in these freezing cold waters the same as they can in the end of March or beginning of April.

We have over a thousand trees on our 10 acres, and until they operate the floodway gates, they stay dry and so does our horses' pasture. But we have learned from past operations that we shall see some of our 40-year-old evergreen trees die and or tip over, as well as many other types of trees that just die or suffocate from being submerged for so long. We do not receive any mitigation money for this loss and yet it has cost us thousands of dollars to have the trees for our family and for the areas wildlife and to help out Mother Nature's ecosystems.

Properly acknowledging and financially compensating all those families and landowners, all over the province, who DO STORE ARTIFICIAL WATERS ON OUR LANDS in order to save our cities and smaller communities, is a responsibility that the federal and provincial governments have more work to do on.

Satellite imaginary takes the guesswork out of who is holding how much water on their property and proper respectful compensation has to be put into place, or else the first class-action suits have the potential to bankrupt us and keep our provincial energy and social consciousness in the bullying category and negative red.

Off to tune up the boats and stockpile some hay. Stay safe out there! All for one and one for all!

Untitled Document