City to sandbag 26 houses, warns others to protect homes
City of Winnipeg's flood protection plan underway
City of Winnipeg officials are recommending residents take steps to protect their properties from overland flooding this season.
Provincial officials released their updated spring flood outlook on Tuesday, calling for risk of moderate to major flooding along a number of Manitoba waterways.
City officials said flood preparations have been underway in the city for several weeks already, and there are now sandbags available for residents concerned about overland flooding to pick up.
As water levels rise, the City will activate flood pumping stations, check flood control gates and set up temporary pumps, according to officials.
Randy Hull is the city's emergency measures coordinator. He said the city has dealt with the threat of high waters many times before.
"The experience is there and certainly we have all the resources in place to respond," said Hull.
"Even fire-paramedic has pre-positioned some of its rescue boats in positions that can get into the river when it has thawed quite quickly."
With the increased flood risk, the city has estimated about 26 properties on three streets will require a total of 32,000 sandbags.
Homes on Cloutier Drive, Christie Drive and St. Pierre Street will need to be protected with sandbag dikes, according to city officials.
All affected homeowners will be notified by April 5. In the meantime, three city sandbag depots are open for concerned homeowners in the West End, Transcona and Fort Garry.
Officials are recommending any residents who live along the river should move or secure any structures near the water’s edge, arrange for a sewer-line backup valve and a sump pit, inspect valves and drainage systems and ensure drainage is directed away from their homes.
The city also reminded all property owners it’s illegal to drain sump pump water into their basement-floor drains or any other part of a house plumbing system as it can put their neighbours at risk of flooding.
City crews have already been working in Winnipeg’s Charleswood area, steaming culverts and clearing snow from ditches.
Many of the streets already have deep ditches in place to allow drainage.
The area has been prone to overland flooding in the past.
Area Coun. Paula Havixbeck said the weather so far has been heartening.
"We don’t want to see temperatures of 15 C or 12 C even because that’s when flooding happens really quickly," said Havixbeck.
"I know it’s not great for us to enjoy spring and get right out there, but you know what? A snow melt like this is perfect." She said crews should be finished clearing all ditches in Charleswood by Monday.