The southwest corner of Manitoba has declared a state of emergency due to flooded out roads and fields.

The Rural Municipality of Edward has closed 65 kilometres of roads as a result.

The gravel roads are either covered in water or are so soft, they have been scored with ruts — some so deep they resemble war trenches. Highways 256, 3, and 83 are all in terrible shape, according to local officials.

Ruts in the road

Many of the roads in the Rural Municipality of Edward are in terrible shape, turned into mushy ruts, due to an excess of water in the area. ( Courtesy Lisa Pierce)

"It's so wet I've heard of guys getting stuck to the axles [of their trucks]

," said Debbie McMechan, a councillor in the RM, located in Manitoba's extreme southwest corner near both the Saskatchewan and U.S. borders.

While some of the excessive water is due to large amounts of rain, much of it is runoff from fields in the neighbouring province.

"We have become a sponge for the water coming out of Saskatchewan," McMechan said.

The runoff problem started about three years ago with increased drainage coming from Saskatchewan and tighter regulations for local drainage, she said.

That means more water coming in and a greater restriction on where it can go from there.

"So we sort of got caught in a no-man's land between the wild west of drainage and where things were pretty regulated," said McMechan. "We're throwing up our hands. We don't know what to do for our people.

"Right now we have farmers here that won't have planted a crop in three years, on very arable farmland."