200-300 Victoria Beach-area cottagers facing frozen pipes

That cottage getaway this May Long weekend is going to be less than perfect this year. Harbourmaster Rod Bollman says boaters might not get out on water until June at this rate

Deputy Reeve doesn't advise coming out May Long; harbourmaster says boats may not hit water until June

That May long-weekend getaway is going to be less than perfect this year, so much so that Deputy Reeve Bruce Morrison is suggesting cottagers rethink weekend plans altogether. 1:49

That May long-weekend getaway is going to be less than perfect this year, so much so that Deputy Reeve Bruce Morrison is suggesting cottagers rethink weekend plans altogether.

"I wouldn't come, personally, but that's just me," said Morrison, a longtime beach-goer. "What am I going to do down here anyways? You know, especially if you're a summer-type person, you can't do any yard work hardly. You can't do much of anything."
Victoria Beach harbourmaster said cool conditions and ice remaining on one harbour could prevent boaters from getting on the waters until June. (Ryan Hicks/CBC)

Northwestern Ontario’s cabin-country saw seven centimetres of snow Tuesday morning, and Lake Winnipeg’s Victoria Beach cottages line a lakefront still frozen in many parts, with ice forced up against one side of the harbour and some residents without running water.

Morrison said at least 200 seasonal properties in the Victoria Beach area have reported frozen pipes.

"Public Works is getting a lot of calls and no one knows really what to tell them," he said.
Bollman said some cottages may not have access to water leading up to the holiday weekend because the pipes are still frozen in some spots. (Ryan Hicks/CBC)

Rod Bollman, Victoria Beach harbourmaster, said at this rate the uncooperative conditions might prevent recreational boaters from hitting the water until June.

Morrison and Bollman both said cool spring conditions have resulted in frozen pipes and some residents and cottages still don’t have access to drinking water.

"The water lines are on the surface, except when they go under roads, but where they're under roads I think they're still frozen, or certainly in spots they are," Bollman said.

Morrison advised people thinking about going up to Victoria Beach for the weekend to have a year-round community member check their cottage to see if it has running water.

Morrison went out to check a cottage for a couple flying in from Vancouver Island and it had no water.
200-300 properties in Victoria Beach remain without water due to frozen pipes.

Bollman said it's disheartening for people who have suffered through such a long winter to still not have cottage weather.

"The cottages, a lot of them aren't insulated and it's just cold and it's miserable walking because when the ice is right near the shore you get any wind off the lake and it's bitter,” he said. “I feel sorry for the cottagers from that respect because they just want to get out."