St. Laurent flooding 2011

An aerial photo shows the extent of flooding in the St. Laurent area on Wednesday. (John Bronevitch/CBC)

There could be buyouts coming for owners of cottages and homes affected by the severe flooding on the south shore of Lake Manitoba.

Premier Greg Selinger said Wednesday the focus right now is on still protecting property from the dangers posed by the record-high lake levels.

However, individuals may receive buyouts depending on what has happened to their property and land as a result of the flooding, he said.

But none of that will be considered until the threat from the lake has passed and consultations with rural municipality officials have taken place.

Numerous properties along the lake — Twin Lakes Beach, Laurentian Beach, Sandpiper Beach, Pioneer Resort, Delta Beach, and Johnson Beach — have been heavily damaged in the past week.

Powerful winds have whipped across swollen Lake Manitoba creating large waves that pounded the shore and washed inland.

That area is about 70 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

Angry at government

Hundreds of people who live and farm in the region have expressed anger at the provincial government for creating the perilous situation on the lake.

Floodwaters from the Assiniboine River have been channeled through the Portage Diversion  for months. The 29-kilometre long channel takes the water from an entry point just west of Portage la Prairie and empties it into Lake Manitoba.

Diverting the Assiniboine helps minimize flooding where the Assiniboine joins the Red River downstream in Winnipeg.

As a result, the water levels on Lake Mabitoba are artificially high and not expected to reach its peak until early July. Officials had been saying the peak would come in mid-June but they revised the date on Monday.

They also predict it will top out 0.3 metres higher than they originally thought.

mi-delta-beach-storm2

Powerful winds whipped across Lake Manitoba, creating large waves that pounded the shore and crashed into homes and cottages. ((CBC))