Flood bill could top $70M

The flood damage bill for 2011 could top $70 million from the 2009 floods because more land was flooded this year.

Municipalities across Manitoba are already looking past the floods many are still facing towards the cost of repairs.

With about 590 municipal roads closed, many of them washed out or damaged, along with bridges and culverts,  the repairs are going to be expensive.

The damage bill in 2009 was $70 million, and provincial officials expect the tab this year to be the same or higher because the water covered more territory. 

Depending on its size, the repair of a culvert could cost up to $500,000, said Doug Dobrowolski, president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.

He expects some of the biggest bills will be in the Roblin and Duck Mountain areas because of the geography there.

The province said Wednesday that  23 rural municipalities have states of local emergency in place, down from 32 last week. 

The 262 students of the Wawanesa School, closed Tuesday, will return to class on Monday in temporary classrooms set up in spaces such as the town hall and local rink.

Almost 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, largely because they lost safe road access to their homes and communities.

The Red River will crest in Winnipeg on April 30, when the crests of the Assiniboine and Red rivers are forecast to coincide within the city, the province said. Sustained high flows are expected for a prolonged period all along the river, but "the upper range of the forecast peak for the Red River is now below 2009 levels for all points on the river."