Whiteshell evacuees face ‘overwhelming’ amount of water, province says

Record rising water levels mean Manitoba has had to issue a mandatory evacuation order for northern parts of Whiteshell Provincial Park.

Affected areas include Eleanor and Sylvia lakes around Pinawa, along with Otter Falls, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake, in addition to Friday’s announcement of Betula Lake’s closure.

Volunteer firefighter Gerry Desjardins, who owns a cottage in the Falcon Lake area, said he hasn’t seen anything like this in 18 years in the region.

“There is no beach left,” Desjardins told 680 CJOB’s The Start. “Falcon (Lake)’s probably up two-to-three feet higher than it usually is.

Read more: Evacuation orders issued in Whiteshell Provincial Park as state of local emergency declared due to rising water

“They’ve cordoned off the section of the road up at the top where you usually park your cars, because they’re concerned about a washout underneath and that part of the section collapsing. My dock was floating away.”

Story continues below advertisement

Desjardin said he continues to hear of similar experiences from colleagues throughout the region.

“Caddy Lake is probably up about seven feet higher than it usually is,” he said.

“There’s no way you can go through that cave/tunnel area — lots of people like to canoe and kayak through there — the water’s right to the top of that cave right now.”

Click to play video: 'Worst flood in Peguis First Nation history has leaders seeking federal aid' Worst flood in Peguis First Nation history has leaders seeking federal aid

Worst flood in Peguis First Nation history has leaders seeking federal aid

The province is urging anyone in the area to leave as soon as possible, and to not return to their properties or visit the area.

After touring the flooded regions by helicopter Tuesday, Manitoba premier Heather Stefanson — who described the amount of water as ‘overwhelming’ — said the province is working closely with the federal government to provide aid for those who need it.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Manitoba town continues fight against flooding during state of emergency

“We recognize the challenges that Manitobans are facing across this province,” Stefanson said. “We’ll continue to ensure that we get as much information as possible out to them in a timely manner.”

The premier said the government is currently in response mode and will look at further support programs for residents once the water recedes.

“Our thoughts go out to those who have been negatively impacted as a result of this,” she said.

“The water levels are continuing to rise out there — we’re not through this yet, and we just want to thank everyone who’s been involved.”

Click to play video: 'Whiteshell cottagers battle high water' Whiteshell cottagers battle high water

Whiteshell cottagers battle high water

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source