Manitoba

Roseau River First Nation readying for flood evacuation

The southern Manitoba community of Roseau River First Nation is preparing to evacuate because of flood waters. The order hasn't been given yet, but Chief Terry Nelson wants people to be ready because it likely will come. Primarily, he wants people who have somewhere they can go, to have arrangements made.

The southern Manitoba community of Roseau River First Nation is preparing to evacuate because of flood waters.

The order hasn't been given yet, but Chief Terry Nelson wants people to be ready because it likely will come. Primarily, he wants people who have somewhere they can go, to have arrangements made.

Flood liaison offices

Two flood liaison offices are available to provide information to residents of the Red River Valley, including details on existing flood protection levels, current forecasted flood levels and the status of community ring-dike closures. The offices will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the current flood risk is over.

  • 871 Southwood Road in Morris: 204-746-7325
  • 200 Saulteaux Cres. in Winnipeg: 204-945-2354

"We don't want to be in a scramble this time, because one of the problems that we had last time [in 1997] was making sure that everyone understood who was in charge," he said. "Last time, the people, we weren't too much involved in what the authorities … were doing."

The challenge is the First Nation falls between three different jurisdictions — the federal, provincial and First Nation governments, said Nelson.

More than 800 people live on the reserve at the junction of the Roseau and Red rivers, just north of Emerson, Manitoba's border town with the United States. During the 1997 flood, residents were evacuated to an arena in Ste. Anne, 80 kilometres to the north.

Nelson said this time residents may end up in Winnipeg, either with relatives or in hotels.

"They're not going to be in any arena. I mean that certainly was not the case for any of the other communities in the Red River [in 1997]," he said.

The Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters will ultimately make the call to evacuate when the time comes.

State of emergency in Dominion City

Dominion City, 30 kilometres west of the Roseau River, declared a state of emergency on Monday to deal with the spring thaw and precipitation that have begun to raise water levels. It is the first Manitoba community to make the declaration this spring.

Road closures

  • Hwy. 201 for two kilometres east of the junction of 201 and 31.
  • Hwy. 564 between Bradwardine to Hwy. 21.
  • Hwy. 305 between 248 and 13.
  • Hwy. 350 from 10 kilometres south of McGregor to the junction of 242 and 350.
  • Hwy. 274 about 12 kilometres south of Gilbert Plains.
  • Hwy. 364 two kilometres west of the junction of 481.

The region is already experiencing overland flooding and the emergency status enables the town of 375 people to access provincial resources for further problems. The situation is expected to worsen as most of southern Manitoba is under a winter storm warning.

A low weather system, centred over South Dakota, is pushing precipitation into the region. Much of the precipitation began as rain through Monday and early Tuesday, but has since turned to snow.

Somewhere between 20 to 40 millimetres of rain was expected for areas southeast of Winnipeg, with the highest amounts near the U.S. border. A further five to 15 centimetres of snow, falling through Wednesday and possibly into Thursday, was also predicted.

The Red River is expected to crest in Emerson somewhere between April 5 and 10 and in Winnipeg between April 12 to 17.