Province urges evacuation after rains wash out roads in Whiteshell
Manitoba Sustainable Development recommends cottagers in parts of Caddy Lake, Falcon Lake leave area
Storms on Friday night and early Saturday are causing concerns in the Whiteshell and has the province urging cottagers in some areas to leave or risk getting stranded by road wash outs.
West Hawk Lake resident Bill Benson said evening rains are "wreaking havoc" on major roads and trails in the Caddy Lake region.
Benson said he slept through most of the overnight storm and had a rude awakening in the morning.
"Went down to the dock and one of our boats had swamped; it was full of water and water was running everywhere," Benson said. "Where we are it's on a bit of a slope to the lake, and there were rivers of water flowing."
He shot a video that shows torrents of rain water rushing down the McGillivray Falls hiking trail near Caddy Lake.
Environment Canada said there was flooding in the West Hawk Lake area after about 136 millimetres of rainfall. There was also 104 millimetres of rain just east of Killarney.
Manitoba Sustainable Development officials said cottagers in Block 5 of Caddy Lake and Block 9 on Provincial Road 312 should leave the area, as they predict more wash outs could be on the way.
There is also currently no road access "south of the ambulance garage" on South Shore Road in Falcon Lake, the province said.
"The road to Florence and Nora Lakes is also washed out, and the Mantario Trail is closed until further notice," the province said in a statement.
'Nature once again takes control'
In early May, it was dry conditions and forest fires that were threatening to destroy cottages and force people to leave. Now, it's rain and wash outs, Benson said.
"Nature once again takes control!" he wrote in an email to CBC News.
While Benson and his family are anxious, they don't plan to leave unless things really take a turn for the worse. In the event that happens, Benson has an exit strategy in mind.
"If the road is still passable — and that means travelling through some sections [that] would have probably six to 10 inches of water on them — if it's not eroded too badly, that would be the plan. If the road is closed, or washed out, then [we] have a boat strategy in place," Benson said.
The province has set up a hotline for cottagers and permanent residents of communities along the Manitoba-Ontario border. People in the area can call 1-204-349-2201 for information between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the province added.
With files from Katerina Georgieva
Whiteshell washout today on way to GBR <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GBRstrong?src=hash">#GBRstrong</a> <a href="https://t.co/oiBcWm8e9f">pic.twitter.com/oiBcWm8e9f</a>—@doctorb22
Province recommends voluntary evacuation for areas of the Whiteshell following heavy rains <a href="https://t.co/uy8ONxsrdV">https://t.co/uy8ONxsrdV</a>—@MBGovNews