Brandon residents cope with state of emergency due to flooding
Published Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:13PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 2:43AM CST
Residents in Brandon are dealing with traffic delays, school closures and the cancellation of some events as the city deals with flood concerns.
"This is not business as usual here in Brandon. This is a city under a state of emergency," said mayor Shari Decter Hirst.
While a state of emergency remains in place, city officials said the flood situation currently is under control.
On Tuesday, provincial officials said they were estimating the Assiniboine River would reach 1-in-300-year levels in Brandon.
City officials advised visitors planning to head to Brandon for events to check with their hotel and event organizers before coming to the city.
Organizers of the AAA hockey challenge said the event slated for this upcoming weekend will still take place.
Brandon currently has more than 1,200 evacuees, including many who are staying with family and friends, along with others who have had to turn to hotels for accommodations. That's increasing demand for rooms normally used by visitors.
Steve Noctor is one of the Brandon evacuees having to stay in a hotel.
"It's tough, but you got to do what you got to do," said Noctor.
Students at Kirkcaldy Heights School had to relocate their classes to Brandon University because of flood concerns.
Some students were making the most out of the relocation.
"We were in Grade 3 and we get to skip a whole bunch of years of school and come to university already," said Brooke Olsen, a student. While enjoying the new location for classes, Olsen also said she was worried that her family might have to leave their house.
Thursday, the city ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Corral Centre and the Paddock Shopping and Business Centre.
The city also announced traffic restrictions on Highway 18.
The province has changed its flood forecast and now expects the Assiniboine River to crest in Brandon on May 18. Officials said dikes in the city are built high enough to deal with the river when it reaches its crest.
Residents could be facing high water levels for an extended time, with some officials saying the Assiniboine River could remain close to the crest level for up to two weeks before levels drop.
- with a report from CTV's Josh Crabb