The harbourmaster's office in Gimli is surrounded by water. ((Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC))

Cottagers along the shoreline of Lake Winnipeg may be in for a shock the next time they're at the cabin, one Manitoban passing through the area suspects.


Water, driven into shore by strong winds in Gimli, washed over a number of roads. ((CBC))

Noah Erenberg was in the village of Matlock, where water levels were very high and waves from the lake were battering the shoreline on Wednesday, he said.

In some cases, the windows of waterfront cottages were being struck by the waves, Erenberg said.

"There will be considerable property damage all along the south basin," he said. "Already the water is up at the cottage level for at least a dozen cottages that I counted just between Matlock and Winnipeg Beach."

'There will be considerable property damage all along the south basin.'—Noah Erenberg

Wild wind gusts affected some parts of Manitoba on Wednesday.

Erenberg said he didn't see anyone taking action to protect their cottages from being damaged by the water.

State of emergency

Just north of Winnipeg Beach, officials in the Rural Municipality of Gimli declared a local state of emergency. The community is located about 80 kilometres north of Winnipeg.


Water crashes into the wall at the pier in Gimli. ((CBC))

Officials say people who have lived in the area for years have never seen so much water there.

Gimli Mayor Tammy Axelsson said about 80 per cent of residents on Willow Island, just south of the town of Gimli, have followed a voluntary evacuation and left their homes.

"We have water where we've not had water that people can even remember — those people that have lived here for most of their life," Don Emes, the municipal emergency coordinator for Gimli and Winnipeg Beach, said about the windstorm and its damage.

"The situation is, is that it's just big and it's fast."

Approximately 1,000 hydro customers were without power in the Interlake region Wednesday evening. Manitoba Hydro said the areas around Patricia Beach, Grand Beach, Gull Lake and the rural areas between were affected.

The wind, rain and downed trees are mostly to blame, Hydro officials said.

Homes evacuated

The Rural Municipality of Mossey River and the village of Winnipegosis have also declared states of emergency because of flooding in their areas.


Yards and ditches are flooded in Gimli, which was pounded by gusting winds that drove water from Lake Winnipeg far into shore. ((Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC))

Elsewhere in the province, at Sagkeeng First Nation, 10 homes have been evacuated due to overland flooding and more are threatened, according to Charmagne de Veer, a spokesperson with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

As well, the bridge on Highway 11 is in danger from flash flooding, De Veer said.

In Fisher River Cree Nation, 14 homes are threatened by water from heavy rains, though no one has been evacuated. Community officials are using pumps to move the water away from the homes, the provincial government stated.

The province has supplied two emergency response trailers and inflatable tube dams to help fight the flooding.

The province has also supplied one emergency response trailer and inflatable dams to the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews where Netley Creek is flooding due to heavy rains.


Officials in Gimli say people who have lived in the area for years have never seen so much water there. ((Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC))