Seventeen families were forced from their homes in the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent after high winds whipped up waves on Lake Manitoba Wednesday night.

Mona Sedleski, deputy reeve of the RM of St. Laurent, said high winds made it a wild night for those living near the lake, at its highest level in 50 years.

Sedleski said she was called in around 10 p.m. to make the decision to move people out.

Around 17 families were forced out because conditions were too dangerous due to high waves, she said.

Sedleski says two temporary dikes are intended to protect the community from lake waters. "[But] the one around our infrastructure has not been started and that is of great concern right now. You know, this is where our schools and our rec centre and our church and everything is, it needs to be protected by that dike."

Sedleski said she expects there will be reports of damage in the southern basin of Lake Manitoba as a result of the winds and waves.

On May 31, a storm whipped up ferocious waves around the lake, flooding an estimated 700 properties in various communities around the lake. More than 2,000 people have been forced from their homes and cottages as a result of the flooding around Lake Manitoba and farmers and ranchers also have been severely hit due to the high water caused by run-off from the Assiniboine and Waterhen rivers.