Tag Archives: flooding

Public Meeting – ON GOING LAKE MANITOBA FLOOD CONCERNS

Friday,  February 22nd,  2013
1:00 pm
at Meadow-Lea Hall, Hwy. 227 & Hwy. 248, Marquette, MB

– Compensation for 2012
– Accountability for Past Promises
– Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan
– Flood Issues

Provincial and federal Government Representatives will be in attendance.

For more information please contact:
Tom Teichroeb at 204-445-2319
Harry Seimens at 204-325-5215

Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee Public Meeting Poster in PDF format

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WFP The View from the West: Peter Schroedter

A commentary from Peter Schroedter in The View from the West in today’s Free Press.

“I am one of the people affected and even though my losses are minor compared to those who have lost everything, this government-caused flood has become the defining event in my adult life.”

 

Create a flood commission: Scott Forbes, WFP

In today’s WFP View from the West, Scott Forbes says we need a flood commission so the province is prepared for floods in  increasingly unpredictable times.

“Clearly the lake has been managed to sit in the upper reaches of the operating range: residents around Lake Manitoba who have argued that for years the lake has been too high have been correct.

The government of Manitoba needs to establish a blue ribbon Assiniboine Flood Commission that brings together stakeholders — the residents of the Assiniboine basin, farmers, ranchers and business owners — with our best hydrologists and engineers to design a comprehensive water management strategy.

We don’t need finger-pointing and political games. We do need to identify shortfalls in our current flood preparations and a logical plan to address these needs expeditiously.”

Before the flood–and after: Jody Fletcher

A thoughtful, articulate commentary in the Winnipeg Free Press today.

“We have settled in a rented house in town, finally feeling a sense of gratitude for what we do have, but it is tempered with the knowledge that all is not well at home. We wait. We wait for the strong and menacing fall winds and wonder if we will survive another storm. We wait for the winter and know how vulnerable our home is to vandalism. We wait for the spring breakup and wonder if the lake will be lowered by then, and if the ice storms we fear will become reality. We wait for the time we can move back home and resume a lifestyle that has worked its way deep into our hearts in a way we had never imagined. We wait.”

Profile: Blair Olafson, LMFRC member

Blair Olafson stands in front of the road that leads to The Narrows West Lodge boat launch, which is completely submerged.

Blair Olafson figures it will be two or three years before business is back to usual at The Narrows West Lodge.

The lodge, about 220 kms north of Winnipeg, has been in Olafson’s family since 1970 and his family can trace its roots in this area back to 1895. Never has anyone seen the water like this. Last month Olafson took his father and some friends for a boat tour of the damage. He was shocked to discover he could easily place a hand on The Narrows bridge as they cruised under it, when clearance of about 12 feet is normal.

But there is nothing normal about this summer at The Narrows West Lodge. Beautiful rental chalets face huge raised dikes instead of vast Lake Manitoba waters. The boat launch is gone, replaced by murky waters and green slime. Bottles, tires and anonymous debris stick out at odd and dangerous angles.

“The garbage is terrible, you can’t imagine it,” Olafson says. “Staircases, gazebos, play structures. It washes into us every day. And the stench is overpowering. I don’t know what makes that smell, but it can’t be healthy.”

The Narrows West Lodge provides several streams of income to Olafson, including fishing and hunting packages, bait fishing and camping, and they’ve all taken a hit. His revenue is down this year by about half. Just before the May long weekend, media reported high waters at The Narrows. TV stations showed a photo of The Narrows bridge covered in water and that, Olafson says, was the beginning of a desperate season.

“People haven’t even called. They just saw those photos and decided we weren’t open. We usually see 1,200 campers and this year, it’s been about 200. We usually have half a dozen weddings but this year, they were all cancelled.”

Every year, Olafson offers 45 spots for rent on his boat dock. This year, the boat dock is entirely submerged. Not only has he lost that guaranteed income, those boaters aren’t coming in because they don’t want to run their boats on shore and risk damage. More loss.

The lodge serves as the local gathering spot for coffee, beers, and everything in between. But neighbouring farms and communities, such as Reykjavik, have been evacuated for months. Business is slow, and the locals that arrive have only grim news to report.

“I was talking with two farmers, one is 77 years old, the other is probably 70. Well, they have all this lake property. They can’t sell this land. Who wants to buy it? And if someone wants to buy it, how do you value it? If the water goes down, if it goes back to its natural state, it’s going to take five, six, maybe seven years. A farmer retires with his land, that’s his pension plan. So what happens to these guys?” Olafson says.

Olfason is frustrated with the government’s coping abilities as the problems continue to rise due to the man-made flooding of Lake Manitoba. He says officials are spreading the word that compensation is being promptly doled out to local businesses and farmers, but the truth is another story. He offers up a tale that shows just how effectively compensation is being handled.

“They were using my equipment to pump water, 24 hours a day. Finally it came time I needed to be compensated. So I went to the municipality, because we directly did the original transaction. But they’re tapped out, of course, so they sent me to EMO. They pushed me to DFA. I’m not kidding! DFA sent me to MAFRI. Then I went to MASC. Believe it or not, they sent me back to the municipality. And they paid me there, but you know, they probably don’t have their own compensation for it either, they just felt badly for me and paid it out of pocket.”

While the frustration of trying to stay afloat keeps Olfason busy during the day, it’s fear that keeps him up at night. He cautions we haven’t seen the worst of it yet.

“I’m a commercial fisherman, I know ice. And when that ice comes in, there’s trouble. Ice and water are night and day. Sure, you can hold water back if you build the dike high enough, but ice will just torpedo right through. The ice will blast through those dikes and then the water will go through and do what it does.”

Government of Manitoba’s Flood Home page

Here’s the Manitoba government’s Flood Home page.

It includes links to compensation information, water level forecasts, wind alerts, etc.

LMFRC seeks proposed channel data; seeks true consultation with government

 (WINNIPEG, Manitoba) August 11, 2011 – The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee (LMFRC) met with government officials for further clarification about plans to lower the level of Lake Manitoba immediately and into next spring. The committee was told a 30-member engineering team worked around the clock to analyze every possible channel option.

However, officials including Infrastructure and Transportation Deputy Minister Doug McNeil and Manitoba Water Stewardship’s Steve Topping, said the detailed information was not prepared for public distribution at this time. The LMFRC hopes the province will consider sharing this information with taxpayers across the province as it becomes available.

“We are grateful the government is moving forward with a project that will improve the drainage of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin. The LMFRC feels the rural municipalities should have access to the information used in designing the emergency drainage channels and should be involved in this process,” says Tom Teichroeb, LMFRC Chairperson.

Frustrating to the LMFRC is the constant refrain from Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Steve Ashton that the government is collaborating with municipalities. To date, the LMFRC has not been involved in any consultation about the emergency drainage channel.

“Not one municipality has received one phone call looking for information about these proposed routes,” says Teichroeb. “Telling us their plan is not consultation. The people who earn their living on and around this lake would like to be involved in the decisions that are affecting the management of Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin.”

The Lake Manitoba Flood Rehabilitation Committee represents 11 municipalities surrounding Lake Manitoba. It gives voice to the urgent needs of all residents and businesses for an immediate solution to the flooding. It seeks adequate and inclusive compensation for the rehabilitation of land, businesses and residential properties damaged by the man-made flooding of Lake Manitoba.

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