Peguis First Nation stays on flood watch as river recedes
About 50 homes surrounded by water, forcing at least 129 people out
Members of the Peguis First Nation are closely watching the Fisher River, where water levels started to recede on Sunday but could cause more flooding in the coming days.
A total of 129 people from the First Nation have been forced from their homes this weekend due to river flooding, the provincial government said Sunday.
Forty-nine of the evacuees have registered with the Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters (MANFF) and are temporarily staying in hotels in Winnipeg, says Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Band officials said the flooding — which has been blamed on ice jams in the river — appeared to be receding as of Sunday morning, but rain and wet snow are in the forecast for the area starting in the evening.
Peguis resident Carrie Sutherland said her home hasn't been affected by flooding, and sandbagging work appears to have slowed to a trickle.
However, she said she's saddened that the First Nation has become so accustomed to spring flooding that children have been playing on sandbags, unaware of the dangers they protect against.
Sutherland, who is the First Nation's education director, said she's worried the 850 children at the local school could miss many days of study as a result of the flooding.
Water came up so fast, says resident
Vanessa Bushie says her home was almost flooded when the water suddenly started rising on Saturday, and she and her husband and children were left to fend for themselves for two days.
"I'm kind of disappointed because we didn't have help right away and nobody came around," she said.
"My common-law husband had to go and get some water. We had to just get some water here just to flush down our toilet."
Bushie said the water started to rise around her home on Saturday, without any warning.
"It's pretty scary because, like, you know, the water was coming up so fast," she said.
"I had to run outside just to get everything. All the toys and all our stuff are all piled up on the porch."
While the water has started receding, Bushie said she's worried about water seeping through the bedroom floors and mould forming inside her home.