Members of a Manitoba First Nation are already making sandbags and clearing ice, as they prepare for the worst when it comes to flooding this spring.
Emergency measures personnel and volunteers have filled approximately 8,000 sandbags since Saturday on the Peguis First Nation, located 190 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
As well, ice chipping crews are clearing ice and compacted snow from nearly 250 properties before they can install giant "superbags" around those homes.
William Sutherland, the First Nation's emergency measures co-ordinator, said members have seen two major floods in the last four years.
"Right now we're trying to do everything to calm the people but yet also do everything we can to promote that emergency operations centre is doing everything it can to protect the property and the people of Peguis First Nation," he told CBC News on Tuesday.
Flooding could be a problem for both the Peguis and Fisher River First Nations, as unfavourable weather could cause major flooding of the Fisher River.
The Manitoba government's latest flood forecast, released on Tuesday, said river levels could rise slightly above 2009 levels, depending on the weather conditions.
Flood evacuees still out of homes
Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson said about 200 members are still out of their homes today, almost two years after they had to leave the reserve in the 2011 flood.
Members of the First Nation were also flooded out of the reserve in the spring of 2009 and 2010.
Peguis First Nation — 187
Pinaymootang First Nation — 19
Lake St. Martin First Nation — 1,071
Ebb and Flow First Nation — 104
Dauphin River — 201
Little Saskatchewan First Nation — 366
Source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Hudson said based on the latest flood forecast, he expects more than 200 homes could be affected this year.
"People have been pretty resilient at Peguis, but certainly we are getting very tired of flooding each and every year," he said.
Of the 250 homes on the reserve that crews are currently working on, Sutherland said 27 are always flooded and are considered to be an "absolute high priority."
As of Tuesday, the crews have already chipped ice from 46 houses and cleared snow from 88 homes.
"All that stuff has to be removed because regardless [of] what kind of protection we have, if there's ice underneath there, that'll be compromised … when the flood waters start rising," Sutherland explained.
Hudson said while members are already filling sandbags and clearing culverts, he wants to see permanent flood protection for his community.