Sandbag maker arrived too late, says Caddy Lake cottager

A cottage owner in Caddy Lake, Man. says the province's response to flooding in the area is coming too late. The Manitoba government delivered a sandbag-making machine to the community on Tuesday while flooding started on the weekend.

Manitoba government delivered sandbag maker to the Caddy Lake boat launch Tuesday

Sandbags arrived late, say Caddy Lake cottagers

7 years ago
Duration 1:24
Cottage owners in Caddy Lake, Man. say they gave provincial officials 72-hours notice before flood waters began affecting their properties. The Manitoba government delivered a sandbag maker on Tuesday.

A cottage owner in Caddy Lake, Man. says the province's response to flooding in the area is coming too late. The Manitoba government delivered a sandbag-making machine to the community on Tuesday while flooding started on the weekend.

"I think we're definitely late on the draw with the reaction from our government," said Keith Dixon.

Dixon estimates there is about five feet of water on his property and the lake level is still rising. He said the community began raising the alarms about flood waters on Saturday, giving officials 72 hours to deliver materials like Tiger Dams and sandbags which may have stopped the flood waters.

"I know it's hard being a recreational area to get the disaster assistance but I think it's quite apparent here people are in need and it would be great if we can get some help from the province," said Dixon.
Crews from the Manitoba Conservation are making sandbags in Caddy Lake. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Grant Fisette, whose property borders Caddy Lake, said the lake level went up by about 10 centimeters overnight. Much of the hillside next to his home has already slumped away from heavy rains on the weekend that washed out roads.

"I boated around last night and there's so much water damage and sheds on their sides around the lake and boat houses that are pretty much totally submerged," he said.

A provincial spokesperson told CBC News on Tuesday that a sandbag-making machine has been delivered to the Caddy Lake boat launch, where bags will be made available to anyone who needs them.

But Fisette has some worries and doubts about them being effective. In fact, he's concerned they could make things worse.

Sandbagging will be a challenge not only because there is already so much high water on people's property but also because there is very little level ground.

"The problem in the Whiteshell is everything's on a slope. And in our yard, I have stress cracks in the rest of my yard from it sliding, so I'm worried the weight of the sandbags is just going to be fruitless, it'll just push the ground into the water," he said.

Fisette hopes to get some advice from someone in the province's Emergency Measures Organization about what he can do to protect his property.

The other thing that concerns Fisette is the amount of people who are expected to come out for this weekend for Canada Day. Highway 312 is closed after being washed out during the storms, forcing some people to park vehicles and boat to their cottages.

"There is so much debris floating in the lake that I would definitely be nervous about boating. Also … now we're going to have everyone boating around the lake with the high water, making wake which is unnecessary and creating more damage," he said.
Flooding in the Whiteshell has claimed docks and sent other debris into the water, making for dangerous boating conditions. Bill Benson came across this dock on Tuesday. (Courtesy Bill Benson)