Flood Protection

See Manitoba Infrastructure Hydrologic Forecast Centre’s latest flood reports on the Forecasts/Reports tab at https://www.gov.mb.ca/mit/floodinfo/index.html

In the last half-century, the two most severe emergencies in Manitoba were floods. The Red River floods in 1950 and 1997 resulted in extensive property damage, evacuations, and emergency operations to protect people and communities. Overland flooding is a regular annual occurrence in most of our province. The potential for flooding depends on rainfall, snowpack, soil moisture and temperature.

If you live in a flood-prone area, the best way to minimize damage is to mitigate the risk. Remembering that you have primary responsibility for emergency preparedness, consider what you can do to reduce damages and protect your home and property. You should also be making plans to evacuate your home and family if a severe flood develops. While municipal and provincial assistance will be available in such cases, planning ahead is valuable and necessary. We all need to do what we can to make sure our homes, families and communities are prepared in case of any future flooding

Test your knowledge about overland flooding and find out if you are ready with this quiz on the Government of Canada’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/flood-ready/quiz.html…

Protecting your family and property during a flood

  • Know the notification/warning systems your government uses.
    • Municipal website
    • Media (radio, television print media) – province
    • Text (only if you have registered) – province
  • Follow instructions from local emergency officials.
    • Evacuation may be required (you will be asked to register with the emergency officials)
    • Protect your pets and livestock
  • Take special precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment. This may include turning off electricity to the affected areas of the structure or the entire structure depending on the degree of risk
  • Move furniture, electrical appliances and other belongings to floors above ground level.
  • Remove toxic substances such as pesticides from the flood area to prevent pollution.
  • In some cases, homes may be protected with sandbags or polyethylene barriers.

Contact your insurer as soon as practical under the circumstances

Reduce the Risk of Flood Damage by Season

Spring

  • Monitor the spring melt.
    • The RM prepares the ditches for spring by removing some snow from ditch to assist drainage
  • If ditches are not draining water; call the RM office at 204-482-3300
    • Staff will log your concern in a tracking system and notify public works
    • Culverts may be frozen and the RM will initiate efforts to improve the situation as soon as possible
  • If the fields and land around your home have significant or threatening water accumulations notify the RM office.
    • It may be a result of natural or spring weather conditions and not manageable by the RM.
    • Municipal drains may need to be cleared and the municipality will schedule that on a priority basis.
  • If you need sand bags to protect your home from overland flooding
    • Call the RM office and arrange to pick up sandbags
      • The RM is not responsible for individual property protection, does not deliver sandbags and will not provide staff to install them
      • Protect all openings, holding tanks, drinking water supply and septic fields that may be at risk

Summer

  • Based on flooding experience consider installing permanent protection measures
    • This may include dikes, berms, swales, landscaping
  • Review update your emergency plan

Fall

  • Redirect water away from your home try to ensure the ground slopes away from your house on all sides.
  • Seal any gaps or potential spaces around basement windows and other ground level entries to the structure
  • Install the drainage for downspouts a sufficient distance from your home and outbuildings to ensure that water moves away from the building.
  • Consider installing a sump pump and back up prevention valves in all basement drains.
  • Do not store your important documents in the basement. Keep them at a higher level to protect them from flood damage.
  • Where possible and practical, clear grass clippings and debris from ditches and culverts
  • If your property is at risk of overland flooding or has ever been flooded check your insurance coverage for ‘overland flooding’. Don’t rely on government programs such as Disaster Financial Assistance to cover your losses.
  • If you have a walkout basement, a well or a septic/holding tank, a septic field or other risk areas prepare the areas for potential sandbagging or other flood protection measures. Consider taking steps to permanently protect these areas.

Winter

  • Where feasible keep the snow accumulation away from the at risk structures.
  • Do not push show into ditches, swales or drains.
  • Review your family emergency plan.
  • Monitor the provincial flood forecast information.