Assiniboine River Flood of 2011

Assiniboine River Flood of 2011

Category: ALL, Farming

2011 was a record year for flooding in the Assiniboine River Valley, an unprecedented snowpack in Saskatchewan combined with untimely rains made for 52,000 cfs of water arriving at Portage la Prairie. But that was more than the dikes downstream and the Portage Diversion were designed to handle.

After causing devastation in cities like Minot North Dakota and big scares in Brandon Manitoba it all combines to enter the Red River Valley near Portage la Prairie where a diversion channel was built many decades ago to divert water north into Lake Manitoba.

The water raised the the levels of Lake Manitoba to unprecedented levels and caused cottages to be destroyed and farmland flooded for miles around the lake . An emergency channel was built at the Hoop and Holler bend on Hwy #331 but was not used very much.

Here are some pictures of my farm near the Assinboine bridge on Hwy 430. In early March 2011 the Manitoba Government moved in with 250 pieces of equipment to stabilise these dikes where there had been no maintenance done for decades. Trying to build dikes with frozen clay stripped from farmers fields was not what any engineer would like to see, but build they did.

When the water came, so did the military working to plug dike leaks with sandbags delivered by helicopters and tracked vehicles. Without the help of the Canadian military, including the Navy, the flood would of been a true disaster.

Now 2 years have passed since the initial flurry of emergency activity, and there has been very little done to finish the projects properly. After the flood passed and the water receded there was 18 months of relatively little precipitation, and yet there was nothing done.

2 years and no landowners have received any compensation for damages and land that will never be farmed again.

2 years and no plan in place to properly lower Lake Manitoba when conditions require it.

Only 2 years and their is potentially another flood coming, not only from the west but the Red River from the south could peak in Winnipeg at the same time as the water arrives from the west.

Hopefully the Manitoba NDP government can win the lottery and be ready for the this flood, and pay for the damages of the last one.