Morris-area people 'cautiously optimistic' about Red River flooding, reeve says
Community not expecting significant flooding, but identifying properties that could lose road access
People in a southern Manitoba municipality are preparing for the worst-case flood scenario despite expecting minimal effects.
The province has started preparing for the possibility of an unexpected downpour in the area around Morris, Man., before the Red River's expected crest next week, said Ralph Groening, reeve of the rural municipality of Morris, about 60 kilometres south of Winnipeg.
"What we're doing is identifying properties in the RM of Morris that might lose road access, and then we wait for a continued slow melt and a slow increase in the level of the Red River," he said.
"For the moment, we are remaining hopeful that there will be no properties that will lose road access — no homes, that is, that would lose road access — and we are cautiously optimistic that that will continue to be the case.… We do not anticipate that anybody will have to leave their homes."
WATCH | Morris, Man. prepares for spring flooding:
The province has partially closed the dikes that protect the community and is getting ready for what must be done if the river rises and makes the bridge just north of Morris unpassable, Groening said.
The bridge is a major thoroughfare for truckers, who would have to take alternative routes if the water rises high enough to cover it.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn't really impacted flood preparations, because the community doesn't expect to have to sandbag any properties, Groening said.
The community isn't expecting any significant flooding this spring, but it will be prepared if something changes.
"Worst-case scenario would be some dramatic change in weather," he said, such as rain the pushes up river levels.
People in the area are hopeful but waiting to see what happens, he said.
"Manitobans do have enough challenges with COVID-19, so really, we hope that we do not have to deal with an additional challenge. And, fortunately, it would appear for the moment that we will be spared the flood interruption in our lives so we can focus on getting well, staying well," he said.
"For the moment, it's a wait and see [situation]."