On May 23rd, Naomi and I visited Minnedosa to see the high water on the Little Saskatchewan River and to get an appreciation of the flooding situation. As you can see from the photos below the river was in flood stage and much sandbagging had been done, including along the main street in Minnedosa. Thank you to Councillor Tom Dowsett for helping us understand the situation and the measures that have been put in place to help protect people and houses in the community.
On Tuesday May 24thI spoke in the Manitoba Legislature on an update on the flood situation and included comments on the situation in Minnedosa.
Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, I thank the minister for the flood update. Yesterday, I visited Minnedosa and various other sites along the Little Saskatchewan River to get a first-hand view of the flood situation there.
I want to thank Councillor Tom Dowsett for showing us around Minnesota–Minnedosa to see the flood, its impact and the activities conducted to prevent flooding.
It's a wake-up call to go into town and see the potential seriousness of the situation with sandbags lined up on both sides of Main Street. Fortunately, the water did not over tap–top the sandbags along the river. In places, there are two lines of sandbags because of fears that the first line might be breached. Fortunately, both lines of sandbags are holding.
Prompt and effective action by the mayor and council in Minnedosa, together with the Province and with many volunteers, is to be credited with the fact that the damage was limited.
I understand there were a small number of homes which had water in their basements, but overall, there was remarkably effective prevention of water damage in spite of the very large increase in the flow of water in the Little Saskatchewan River.
Myself, my wife Naomi and our caucus staff Richard Davies were able to visit the dam site as part of the tour. We saw several of the wooden beams which have been removed from the outlet. I understand the old beams will be replaced, which is badly needed in view of the conditions the existing beams are in.
I want to compliment the efforts of the members of the Minnedosa council and the members of the Minnedosa community and nearby residents, including residents and members of five Hutterite colonies, who helped with the sandbagging and with the flood prevention.
I thank the minister for his updates on the DFAA program and from various sites in Manitoba, including the Whiteshell and Peguis.
Once again, I reiterate the need to understand why the flood warning to Peguis was given only two days before the major flood and the importance of developing and implementing long-term plans to protect Peguis as other communities in Manitoba have been protected. It must be done, and we need a commitment now from the federal and provincial governments that it will be done.
Thank you. Merci. Miigwech.