Winnipeggers continue to sandbag, clean up amid flooding
1,142 storm-related calls to 311 over the weekend, City of Winnipeg says
Vehicles across Winnipeg are stuck in floodwaters that have frozen over, and people are continuing to sandbag as parts of city are seeing significant flooding after weekend of rain on top of snow melt.
On the eastern edge of Winnipeg, in the south Transcona neighbourhood, Nanci Dagg is helping her son. His crawl space is wet and the 100-year-old foundation is heaving even though they were sandbagging for weeks.
Outside, the storage shed is also wet, and items that were earmarked for renovations are now garbage.
Looking across Dagg's property, a nearby footbridge was swept away by the flood and is now stuck in ice.
She says the main issue is the ditches in the area, including on Dugald and Symington roads, which flood every year.
"We've got pictures of kids with canoes going up and down [the ditches]. It's too cold to do it today, but it's never been this bad for this long," Dagg said.
The culverts freeze over, or are blocked by cattails and other debris, which means water flows onto surrounding properties.
Dagg says it seems to be a matter of the city reacting, rather than being proactive. She thinks if they cleared the ditches in the fall, and came out earlier to steam the culverts, flooding wouldn't be as big of a problem.
A little higher up on Goodyear Avenue, Myron Posiuk waded through water to check out the water levels.
Although his home is dry, his neighbours have flooding.
"The sump pump is running, but there's no seepage or anything, so we're okay there," he said.
"We're in the very, very lowest point going southeast from here. The farmers fields are higher. So you get that water draining off into our area."
Posiuk agrees the main problem stems from culverts being blocked, but thinks the city addressed a couple problem areas. He adds that the opening of the Red River floodway helped ease some of the pressure.
He plans to stay at home for a couple of days until his neighbourhood dries up.
"It's difficult. I just walked down the street to see what there is. Our two cars are not capable of going through that."
Weekend 311 calls
There were 1,142 storm-related calls or emails to the City of Winnipeg's 311 service through the weekend, city spokesperson David Driedger said.
Of those, 695 were about flooded streets or ditches, 412 were about basement flooding and 35 were about rising water levels in retention ponds.
Driedger said crews addressed culvert issues in south Transcona on Monday.
Across the city in St. Vital, Pat Ryan is adding to her pile of sandbags to try to keep water from seeping from her yard into her basement.
"It's not too bad because I've kept up to it by scooping it and putting it down the drain, basically. But it's not wrecking anything. And I anticipated this was going to happen, so I had a lot of stuff taken up out of the basement to begin with," she said.
"We live in Manitoba. We're on a flood plain. So you have to expect this to happen once in a while."
With files from Emily Brass