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.”
Posted in In the news
Tagged compensation, flooding, Greg Selinger, homes, Hugh McFadyn, Jon Gerrard, Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin, Liberals, Manitoba Government, NDP, Progressive Conservatives, taxpayers
On November 1, the following update was posted on the Province of Manitoba’s Flood Information website.
- Exploratory work for possible channel locations started July 4.
- Logistical work such as setting up camps, building an access road and establishing drainage started in early July and additional contractors began work Aug. 15.
- Actual channel digging started Aug. 29.
- More than 130 workers have been involved in this construction project. At times, the Aboriginal worker complement was up to 50 per cent.
- The total excavation project moved about 1.5 million cubic metres of material. Approximately 30,000 more cubic metres of rock were also used.
- Ditches, dikes and temporary roads have been constructed on either side of the 6.5 kilometre (about four-mile) outlet.
- The 95 pieces of heavy equipment used included excavators, bulldozers and rock trucks, one dredge, two Amphibex machines, one floating excavator, four barges, four tugs, two helicopters, 15 boats, 10 high-velocity pumps and 30 support vehicles.
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.”
The Winnipeg Free Press has aerial video footage of the emergency channel. Includes brief interview with Premier Selinger.
Winnipeg Free Press story about the completion of the emergency channel.
“”It’s been an extraordinary accomplishment,” Selinger said Friday, as he and others toured the massive construction by helicopter and ground. “Everyone pulled together to get this done.”
Selinger said work on the $100-million channel will be finished on schedule, by Tuesday, allowing heavy equipment to slowly remove an earth berm that separates the mouth of the channel from a still-flooded Lake St. Martin.
That task will take about a day, but when gone it will allow about 7,000 cubic feet per second of water from Lake St. Martin to flow down the channel towards a huge marsh, where it will spread out and slowly make its way towards Lake Winnipeg.”
Today’s update from the province on the emergency channel:
- Construction of the Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel is over 75 per cent complete and remains on track to be finished in November. However, progress on the final stage depends on weather conditions and logistical issues;
- Once the project is completed it will result in lower levels on Lake St. Martin;
- The Fairford Dam Structure is expected to remain open throughout the winter, which will help lower Lake Manitoba water levels;
- Over 130 workers and 95 pieces of heavy equipment continue to work on the project. The Aboriginal employment rate on the project has ranged up to 50 per cent;
- Ditches, dikes and temporary roads have been constructed on either side of the 6.5 kilometre outlet and most of the outlet has now been built;
- The work site is remote and workers, equipment and supplies must be moved by boat or barge across eight kilometres of Lake St. Martin, to the site;
- Plans are now underway, and an open tender will be issued very soon, for construction of an extended reach of the channel from Buffalo Creek to Lake Winnipeg. This will help ease spring break-up and ice jam-related flooding along the Dauphin River by diverting water more directly into Lake Winnipeg. This reach of the channel project was outlined as a possible component in the original project description and is accounted for in the initial cost estimates. Once the main portion of the channel is completed and operational in November, construction of the extended reach will begin with a goal of it being operational before the spring melt.
Visit the Lake St. Martin Emergency Channel update page here. You can also see photos and aerial footage.
An article in the Winnipeg Free Press today outlining progress on the channel from Lake St. Martin to Big Buffalo Lake.
“Favourable fall weather has given the province confidence that it can complete its ambitious $100-million emergency channel by Nov. 1.
Engineers are looking at moving up construction of the sub-channel, although a final decision has not yet been made, said Paul White, a spokesman for the provincial Water Stewardship department.
When completed, the second outlet would make the new main channel more efficient, especially during spring runoff. “It’s like putting a second drain in your bathtub. You’d drain it a lot faster,” White said.”