Falcon Lake flooding leaves marina looking 'like a bomb went off'
'It’s everything that you work for. You pour your heart and soul into your business and it gets washed away'
Some boats are underwater while others are pulled onto shore at the Faloma Beach Marina on Falcon Lake in the Whiteshell.
Marina owner Ian Young said there's water covering the floor of his store after a downpour over the weekend wreaked havoc on the lake, roads and his Manitoba business.
"It kind of looks like a bomb went off.… It's a disaster," Young said, adding the river washed away road access to the local cottage subdivision.
"It's washed away our entire parking lot, our launch ramp, the place that we park a lot of boats. So it's all washed away, covered with beaver dam debris, and our shop is flooded."
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A voluntary evacuation for people in the area near the Manitoba-Ontario border was still in place on Monday after torrential rains washed out a few major roads on Friday night.
More heavy rain Saturday night created gaping holes on roads in West Hawk Lake and Falcon Lake.
On Saturday, Young and his staff searched for boats that washed away and refloated those that had sunk to the bottom of the lake.
The strategy changed on Sunday after rainfall slowed and the problem became the rising water.
There's water more than 20 centimetres deep in the marina's shop and five inches in the store, Young said.
"It's a depressing feeling. It's kind of just bad. It's everything that you work for. You pour your heart and soul into your business, and it gets washed away in a matter of hours," he said.
Although Young said they were able to mitigate the majority of private property damage, he's not sure the marina will be able to break even this year.
The next few weeks usually bring in about 30 per cent of the yearly revenue for the business.
"Normally we would be renting boats and selling gas and candy and ice cream," he said. "I mean I certainly can't rent boats."
Resorts face flooded roads
Young came to the aid of Falcon Trails Resort, which is located near the marina, after part of the road leading to the resort was flooded over the weekend.
"We quickly called up our neighbour Ian at Faloma Beach Marina, who's dealing with his own troubles right now and said, 'Ian, can you help us out? Do you have a pontoon boat we can rent?' And so now we've become a boat-acessed resort."
Christie said aside from the road, the resort grounds did not sustain much damage, aside from "a few docks that have wandered away, which we're working on fixing right now."
Over at Penguin Resort, also near the marina, owner Ken Moulden said he was "just devastated" to see the road to his resort washed out on Saturday morning.
"I went and told my wife, 'We're in trouble.' We went out and had a look and it was just terrible," he said.
Three of Penguin Resort's 12 cottages were rented out over the weekend, and guests had to leave their vehicles behind as they arranged to be picked up on Sunday, Moulden said.
As for the Canada Day long weekend, Moulden said he's booked solid and he hopes the road will reopen by then.
The Whiteshell Provincial Park office said Monday that most of the roads are down to one lane of traffic after the flooding and vehicles are moving very slowly as crews work on repairs. Ingolf Road remained closed and South Shore Road is one-lane traffic.
Park office staff said they are encouraging people to stay off the roads if possible to allow crews to get the work done.
With files from Holly Caruk