Emergencies declared in 3 Manitoba municipalities due to flooding

A total of three municipalities in southwestern Manitoba have declared local states of emergency due to overland flooding in their regions.

Rural municipalities of La Broquerie, Two Borders, Dufferin say overland flooding has closed dozens of roads

Overland flooding in the Rural Municipality of Two Borders, southwest of Pipestone, Man., Friday afternoon. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Three municipalities in southwestern Manitoba declared local states of emergency due to overland flooding in their regions.

The rural municipalities of Two Borders declared the state of emergency late Thursday, while the municipalities of Dufferin and La Broquerie followed suit on Friday.

More than 30 roads were closed in Two Borders and Dufferin, while some homes and farm properties were also at risk.

Manitoba Infrastructure has issued flood watches for the Icelandic, Turtle, Woody, Swan, Whitemouth and Whitemud Rivers due to the potential for ice jams and flooding.

Fred Grieg, runs a pedigree seed and livestock farm near Pipestone, Man. He said, despite flooding, the seeding season should be normal or a touch late this year. (Piley Laychuk)

The province said ice jams also remain a concern along the Fisher River near Dallas, Man.

The ring dike in Gretna, Man. has been partially closed due to flooding issues along the Pembina River.

Only one home so far, in Dufferin, has been damaged by overflowing melt waters. Frozen culverts, a rapid melt, saturated soil and a heavy winter snowfall are being blamed for the increase in flood risks.

Fred Grieg, who runs a seed and livestock farm near Pipestone, Man., says much of his land is covered in water.

"Who doesn't want lakefront property?" he said jokingly.

Thankfully, though, his livestock is safe, especially given that it's calving season. He's optimistic about his farmland as well.

"If we don't get too much more moisture coming, we should have a normal start to a little later start at seeding, we hope," Grieg said.

20 roads in Two Borders closed

Debbie McMechan, the reeve of Two Borders, said on Friday that the situation is a "little bit more dire" than a day earlier.

The rural municipality is located in the southwestern corner of the province and surrounds the town of Melita.

Spring melt waters have compromised more than 20 roads in the area, forcing closures, she said. Officials are closely watching four farm homes and livestock.

Fred Grieg's cattle graze just meters away from overland flooding near Pipestone, Man. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Last night, the RM declared a state of emergency over fears crews might have to cut a road to divert water away from one particularly vulnerable farm home.

"It's not ideal," McMechan said. "We're being as diligent as we can to make sure we keep people's homes and their livestock safe."

The situation is bringing back memories of the 2014 flood, she said, which was caused by severe overland flooding.

The 2014 flood, driven by heavy rains, caused millions of dollars of damage in the Two Rivers area, destroying homes and the planting season for many farmers.

While overland flooding remains the key threat, McMechan said officials are also watching Stony Creek should it breach its banks.

Flows along the Souris River, which runs through Two Borders, are beginning to increase, while flows of the Pipestone Creek, in the RM of Pipestone, are high, says Manitoba Infrastructure.

10 to 12 roads closed in Dufferin

In Dufferin, a rural municipality that includes Carman, between 10 to 12 municipal roads have been closed because of flooding.

Reeve George Gray said the one home damaged by overland flooding saw some water in the basement.

The worse affected areas in Dufferin are St. Daniel which is northwest of Carman and Homewood, just east of Carman, said Gray.

This road near Pipestone, Man., was cut to divert water away from a field. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

He said crews have been working to steam open culverts and break up ice and snow and the main priority is protecting people's property.

"The drains are all open now," said Gray.

"They're functioning and the snow melt is good, it's coming along nicely. Unless we get some adverse weather I think we've probably reached the peak of the melt and the flooding."

He hopes community officials will be able to lift the local state of emergency as early as next week.

"As soon as the danger is over," said Gray.

with files from Riley Laychuk and Alana Cole