Significant damage visible in southwestern Manitoba as floodwaters recede
Evacuees in Riverdale await lower levels, inspection of Rivers dam, before they can return home
The damage from last week's heavy rain and flooding has created a long list of repairs for several municipalities and has kept dozens of people from returning to their homes.
80 people from the Riverdale municipality remain out of their properties, despite the water level behind the Rivers Dam dropping over a metre, according to Todd Gill, the municiaplity's mayor.
"I think the level has been dialled down a little bit, but still the engineers have to be able to get in there to do their inspections to confirm whether there has been damage to the dam structure or not and if so, to what extent," Gill told CBC News.
Gill says a partial re-entry is possible to allow residents to return to their properties.
"As the water recedes and the threat lowers, or the risk lowers, we're hoping to get people back into their homes sooner — as soon as we can," Gill said.
Infrastructure minister Ron Schuler told reporters the water passing through the dam was still too high for engineers to inspect the spillway apron, which needs to be done before the structure can be declared safe and the evacuation order can be lifted.
Gill said his municipality has had excellent coordination and cooperation with Manitoba Infrastructure on the flood threat, but his region still faces significant repairs to roads and other damaged infrastructure.
Municipalities look to province for disaster assistance
The rural municipality of Minto-Odanah has its share of damage to roads, culverts and other infrastructure.
Reeve Doug Dowsett says at least 64 different roads were mangled by the flood waters, which means long detours for emergency vehicles and even the repair workers.
"The other day we were fixing a road and I was giving the contractor a ride to his truck — it was one mile away — and it took us 42 minutes to get there because [of the] many washouts we had to go around," Dowsett said.
Dowsett is anxious to hear an announcement of a disaster financial assistance program from the province as soon as possible, but he may have to wait — Schuler says it's too soon.
"Seeing as we have no idea what the fullness of the damage is ... they can already start sending some of the damage claims in and we will have a look at it," Schuler said Monday.
Minnedosa Mayor Pat Skatch says its too early for a complete evaluation of the damage after the weather hammered her region last week.
"At the moment we are assessing and prioritizing the cost of the cleanup," Skatch said.
Fears of major flooding in Brandon appear to have subsided.
According a spokesperson for the city, the river level in Brandon is back below official flood stage, and the level at the Rivers Reservoir was being monitored but "seemed to be heading in the right direction each day."
The spokesperson said in an email the plug at the intersection of 18th Street North and Grand Valley Road will remain in place until the flash flooding threat has completely passed.
Brandon will be applying for disaster assistance but the city hasn't determined costs on clean-up or infrastructure repair yet.