Manitoba communities hit by heavy rain, Alberta floodwaters

States of emergency have been issued for some Manitoba communities as levels of local rivers rise as a result of heavy rain and floodwaters from Alberta.

Rural municipalities dealing with flash floods, some affected by Alberta floods

Heavy rainfall washed out this road in the Rural Municipality of Albert over the weekend. Seven roads in the area were closed as a result of the flash flooding. (Submitted by Gavin Mackenzie)

States of emergency have been issued for some Manitoba communities as levels of local rivers rise as a result of heavy rain and floodwaters from Alberta.

The Pas along with the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the Rural Municipality of Kelsey were under a state of emergency on Monday because the levels of the Saskatchewan and Carrot rivers continue to increase.

Meanwhile, at least three other Manitoba municipalities have declared states of emergency as they deal with flash flooding caused by heavy rainfall over the weekend.

Some communities were soaked with upward of 100 millimetres of rain between Friday and Sunday, prompting some homes in one southwestern town, Reston, to be evacuated.

Reston looked more like a lake Sunday, with more than 200 millimetres of rain soaking the town. In some areas water was more than one metre deep.

"My couch was floating, my freezer was floating," said homeowner Doug Sanderson.

"It's been really stressful. I haven't slept at all since about Friday morning."

In the Rural Municipality of Pipestone, which includes Reston, a total of 75 homes — including the home of Reeve Ross Tycoles — were flooded and 12 to 15 roads were washed out by the heavy rainfall.

Tycoles told CBC News that more than 150 millimetres of rain fell within just four or five hours on Friday, and another 30 millimetres fell over the next two days.

Tycoles said the south side of Reston was evacuated as the water rose against the railway tracks.

"Water was up to as high as the ties on the track bed, which is probably about an eight- or 10-foot wall of water. So at that time we asked people to leave that side of town just because we had a couple of elderly people," he said Monday.

The land where Reston is located is fairly flat, and residents have never seen flooding like this before, he added.

A state of emergency was declared in the municipality on Saturday and remains in effect as of Monday morning.

While the water levels have started to recede, Tycoles said people are still struggling to clean up.

"We need a day or two here to maybe reduce water. But the concern is the water from the north of us still flows through here like everyone else — you're going to get other people's water — so we're just hoping for no more rain," he said.

Tycoles said he hopes there will be some form of disaster financial assistance from the federal government.

About 1,500 people live in the Rural Municipality of Pipestone, which is located in the southwest corner of Manitoba near the Saskatchewan border.

Roads closed in Albert area

A state of emergency also remains in place in the Rural Municipality of Albert, where seven roads have been closed due to heavy rainfall, with at least one fully washed out.

A foreman for the municipality, also located in the southwestern part of the province, told CBC News that a couple "pop-up" storms on Sunday produced about two inches of rain.

Gavin Mackenzie, a municipal councillor in the area, said officials are monitoring three homes in a low-lying area but their current concerns are roads and rural land.

The biggest losses from the flooding will be to agricultural properties, mainly to hay, crop and pasture lands, he said.

Mackenzie said there is more water in the area than during the 2011 flood, but since it's spread out the levels are not as high as they were back then.

If the rain holds off, the water should start to recede, he said.

Intense downpour in Winnipegosis

The Village of Winnipegosis declared a local state of emergency late Sunday after heavy amounts of rain fell in the area throughout the weekend, including an intense downpour over several hours on Friday.

Village spokesperson Jo Bunka said more than 150 millimetres of rain fell in total, overwhelming the land and flooding several homes.

"A lot of the land here looked like [a] lake. The water, the ditches began to overflow, and consequently the water was rising up around homes," she said Monday morning.

"In the next few days, it's supposed to rain again, and of course our ditches are very full, and the water could rise very rapidly if it was to rain really hard," she added.

Bunka said fire crews from Winnipegosis and surrounding communities came in to try and pump the water out of the streets.

Water levels were more than 25 centimetres high on some streets, she added.

Any residents who need assistance can contact the village office at (204) 656-4791.

Bunka said the community is lucky that Lake Winnipegosis did not flood. The village is located on the lake's southern shore.

Weekend rainfall totals

Two-day total rainfall amounts as of 7 p.m. CT on Sunday, as recorded by the following Environment Canada weather stations:

  • Brandon: 97 millimetres.
  • Shoal Lake: 87 mm.
  • Dauphin: 84 mm.
  • Wasagaming: 69 mm.
  • McCreary: 51 mm.
  • Carberry: 43 mm.
  • Swan River: 30 mm.
  • Cypress River: 23 mm.
  • Roblin: 17 mm.

Environment Canada also reported heavy two-day rainfall amounts from the following agricultural sites:

  • Reston: 107 millimetres.
  • Forrest: 106 mm.
  • Souris: 81 mm.
  • Minnedosa: 79 mm.
  • Grandview: 77 mm.
  • Hamiota: 76 mm.
  • Virden: 71 mm.
  • Ethelbert: 52 mm.
  • Birtle: 50 mm.
  • Ste. Rose: 47 mm.
  • Killarney: 42 mm.
  • Boissevain: 38 mm.