Wind warnings whipping up fears on Lake Manitoba

A weather warning about high winds and storms possible for Lake Manitoba and southern Manitoba is whipping up fears among residents on Lake Manitoba.

Province says record-breaking flows of 38,700 cfs measured in Brandon Saturday morning.

New problems for many communities in Manitoba, as the Assiniboine River crested for a second time, Katie Nicholson reports 1:53

A weather warning about high winds and storms possible for Lake Manitoba and southern Manitoba is whipping up fears among residents on Lake Manitoba.

The Rural Municipality of St. Laurent has been sandbagging for three days, but officials said the job is nowhere near complete.

Councillor Mona Sedleski said seven crews are working as fast as they can. 
Storm clouds moving into St. Laurent Saturday as Environment Canada issues a severe thunderstorm warning for the area and flood preparations continue at a frantic pace. (Sara Calnek/CBC)

"As we speak, there is sandbagging with the super sandbags right across the low areas," she said. "But you know again, we are being hit with the wind before we can complete what we started."

Sedleski said residents are tired and worried. 

"Everyone wants the bags," she said. "People are upset wondering, 'Why aren't we being done right away?' You know, it's understandable, but they are trying to plug the holes first. And then they will go back and do all the parts that were left out."

The RM of St. Laurent has 27 kilometers of lakefront, with 750 properties at risk if the wind pushes the lake over its banks.

Barb McManus, St. Laurent's emergency measures co-ordinator said the strong winds also hinder efforts by volunteers and crews to build dikes.

"There are some areas that are not finished, only done a little more than half, probably," she said. 

She said people don't want to go through what they went through in 2011, when high waves devastated hundreds of properties. 

Flood preps at Twin Lakes Beach in high gear

This video was shot by CBC'S Jacques Marcoux at Sandpiper Bay near Twin Lakes Beach Saturday. 

Not far from where this was shot, Jason Klainchar is waiting, and worrying.

He had to tear down his family's Twin Lakes Beach cottage after the flood of 2011. He put up a trailer in its place so he could move it if he had to. Klainchar says he can't believe he may have to live through it all again. 

"Well I didn't think I'd have to be afraid of it anymore," he said. "But it looks like this is happening all over again."

He said he has no idea what 70 kilometer an hour winds will do if they materialize later today.

But he said that's exactly what wiped him out in 2011. 

RM officials said they are meeting with the province today, for the first time about flooding this year. 

Province reviewing Lake Manitoba forecast

In its daily flood briefing, the Manitoba government said Saturday it is reviewing its forecast for Lake Manitoba, given forecast calling for strong northwest gusting between 50 and 70 km/h. 

Officials said the winds will create considerable wave action on the southern shores of Lake Manitoba, and the south basis of Lake Winnipeg.

The warnings are in effect for Lake Winnipegosis and Dauphin Lake as well. 

The province said 2,000 super sandbags have been sent into Lake Manitoba communities.

It said record-breaking flows of 38,700 cfs were measured in Brandon Saturday morning, with peak flows likely lasting for a day or two before declining.

It said the second crest on the Assiniboine River at the Portage Diversion is now expected to be similar to the first, occurring between July 14 and 15. 


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