Souris Manitoba

Friday, April 26

In 2011, the little iron bridge in the background was totally submerged in water for much of the summer

Darci Semeschuk

Darci works for the Plaindealer newspaper and lives between Brandon and Souris.

April 26, 2013 looks a lot different in Souris, Manitoba, than it did in 2011 or even 2012.

This is the first day the thermometer is predicted to hit double digits and Souris, like the rest of Manitoba, is thrilled to see the warmth. If there are any concerns that a fast melt on the still-frozen Souris River will bring rushing flood waters to this community, residents are doing a good job of keeping that fear under wraps.

Taking a walk around town you would never believe that the province issued a moderate to major flood outlook in their April 10 flood forecast for the Souris and its tributaries.

Nowhere is there the mad rush, the panic to fill sandbags or build dikes like there was in 2011. In fact you would be hard pressed to find any sign of flood preparation in the entire community. Maybe they are too preoccupied fretting about the 1% PST increase.

Emergency Measures Coordinator Sven Kreusch, who underwent a baptism by fire when he was appointed to that position in 2011, just in time to deal with the "once-in-300-year flood," feels Souris is well prepared to deal with whatever Mother Nature sends our way this spring.

"As for the latest flood forecast, there are no changes. For the worst case scenario, the lowest spot would be the new playground in Victoria Park, for which we have a plan if the water would come up that high," stated Kreusch in an email April 25. "I have two trailers with Aqua Dikes standing by and we have 24,000 small sandbags and 1,000 Superbags that could be used."

Currently Kreusch says they are not planning on filling any sandbags at this time. 

As far as concerned residents calling Kreusch for information or advise on dealing with the flood? He says he has only had a few calls so obviously, people are feeling pretty god about the spring.

Remember, most of Victoria Park, the playground, the campground, the bird sanctuary were virtually destroyed by prolonged flooding in 2011. People's yards were destroyed by the diking that was necessary to save their homes. It took hundreds of volunteers and the army to save the water ravaged community. It's taken hard work, time and money but things are looking pretty good about town. Even the lost Swinging Bridge is being reconstructed. It should swing again by the July long weekend barring any unforeseen circumstances. It's not perfect yet, but it's coming.

Who is not happy right now? The farmers around the area are very worried that the late melt and heavy snow pack are going to keep them off the field well into May and that will drastically change their seeding plans for 2013.

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