July 8, 2014
Responding to an urgent request from the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), Manitoba Hydro is dispatching crews to assist with sandbagging and other flood protection measures in the RMs of St. Francois Xavier, Cartier and Portage la Prairie in southern Manitoba, west of the City of Winnipeg.
As of Monday (July 7) at 2 pm, 38 Manitoba Hydro crewmen, along with trucks and other heavy equipment, have been marshalled at the Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation yard south of Portage la Prairie and are loading sandbags for transport to the flood-stricken area. Over 80 staff are anticipated to be in place later this afternoon.
Crews will be working under the direction of local authorities and EMO staff.
Efforts will be focused on protecting infrastructure and homes in the area from the rising waters of the Assiniboine River, which is being swollen by record rainfall and runoff in western Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
"We received a formal request for assistance early this morning (July 8th)," said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. "Because we have lots of experience in assembling work crews and in performing flood protection work, we thought it only right to provide what staff and equipment we could to help residents and local authorities in the area."
Manitoba Hydro staff from Winnipeg, Eastman and the Interlake areas are taking part in the work. Efforts to repair damage to the electrical system from weekend storms and flooding in the Westman and Portage areas has precluded crews in those regions from assisting.
"We are hoping to get as many staff as we can into St. Francois, Cartier and Portage to assist. I think it's a real testament to the dedication of our crews that despite many of them having worked extremely long hours over the last couple of weeks responding to hundreds and hundreds of power outages caused by severe weather, they are still heading out to assist folks in these areas."
The latest information and updates on the provincial flood situation and flood fighting efforts are on the Government of Manitoba's website.
For more information:
360 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, R3C 0G8