Assiniboine River cresting at Portage Diversion over next 24 hours
Lake Manitoba property owners frustrated with province amid rising water, high winds
The Assiniboine River is cresting at the Portage Diversion and waters will continue to be high over the next 24 hours, according to provincial officials.
Ashton said the crest is forecast to last at least 24 hours before water levels begin to go down.
Monday morning, flows on the Assiniboine River into the Portage Reservoir hit 51,500 cubic feet per second and were expected to increase as the second crest approached.
Flows at the Portage Diversion were measured at about 33,500 cfs and flows along the Assiniboine River dikes hit 18,000 cfs.
Meanwhile, high winds on Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg and Dauphin Lake were wreaking havoc on shorelines, but officials said water levels were dropping Monday afternoon as wind speeds declined and shifted direction.
As of Tuesday morning, 615 Manitobans have been forced to evacuate their homes due to flooding, including 505 people from First Nations between June and July.
Lake Manitoba residents furious
While many people on Lake Manitoba are on high alert, frustrations are boiling over about news the province won't have permanent flood protection for them for seven years.
The province said Monday it will take that long to choose a location for a permanent outlet, get environmental approval and build it.
Tom Teichroeb of the Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee is disgusted.
"We need flood motivations, flood solutions from Lake Manitoba immediately," said Techroeb. "Not seven years, not three, not two, now."
He said Canadians shouldn't have to pay for two floods in four years on Lake Manitoba.
Around 100 people and landowners around Lake Manitoba met Tuesday afternoon on farmer Mark Peters property in an effort to put pressure on the province to speed up a permanent flood protection plan.
Most of those present were farmers from the Lake Manitoba Portage Diversion area hoping people in Winnipeg don't forget water is being directed toward them in order to keep the city dry.
A number of politicians were invited, including the premier and the infrastructure minister. None except the local MLA made an appearance.
Teichroeb said the province should start digging an outlet this fall or next spring at the latest.
"My hope is that somewhere the premier and his staff will have a revelation and realize that status quo is not an option," he said.
"And seven years is not an option."
Farmers' fields flooded
Flooded farmers' fields downstream of the Portage Diversion are causing concern for residents like Mark Peters.
There is so much floodwater in Peters' fields that they’ve transformed into a swimming pool for his dog Casey.
Nearly 160 hectares of Peters' hay fields are underwater. Had he not built his dike in time, he thinks what is left of his crops would be drowned by flood waters, too.
"It's come to a point where our livelihoods are at stake," said Peters. "This is just happening too often and too severe."
It took three years for Peters' saturated land to fully recover from the flood of 2011, and he's not the only one still suffering.
Brian Sigfusson, Reeve of Coldwell, said people in his community have lost too much and cannot live through another flood.
"We're facing things where people say if they get this badly done to them again they're moving out, they're not coming back," said Sigfusson.