Brandon saw 'unprecedented amount of water during storm': mayor
WINNIPEG -- The mayor of Brandon, Man., said no municipality’s infrastructure is designed to handle the type of rainfall his city received during Sunday night’s storm.
“In such a response, you can’t be everywhere at once,” said Mayor Rick Chrest.
“No amount of infrastructure is designed to handle such a surge all at the same time, so that’s what causes the problem.”
On Sunday evening, southwestern Manitoba was hit with a severe thunderstorm that left destruction, power outages and road closures in its path.
In an interview Monday with CTV Morning Live, Chrest said it could be the record amount of single-day rain accumulation in Brandon’s history.
“Certainly an unprecedented amount of water in a short period of time,” he said.
The mayor said the city had to activate its emergency alerting system around 4 p.m. on Sunday – something it does not do regularly.
“We have a variety of towers right across Brandon that can send out (an) alarm followed by a vocal set of instructions, so that’s probably one of the first times we’ve had to activate that emergency alerting system,” he said.
The high level of rain and flooding was not isolated to a specific area of the city, with many places hit with a great deal of water.
“Certainly there will be hundreds of residences, homeowners and businesses that will be dealing with water entering their homes and businesses,” Chrest said, noting city crews deployed additional pumps to stop retention ponds from overflowing and to keep catch basins clear.
With more rain anticipated over the next few days, the mayor said they’re trying to plan ahead.
“Frankly, we’re aware that we’re getting more rain over the next couple of days, so we’re trying to get ahead of that and make sure that we have the system freed up,” he said.
Chrest reminded residents to ensure their drainage systems are clear, and to be vigilant with pumps if necessary.
“The city is going to do all that we can to make sure everything is working, but as I said, no municipality's infrastructure is designed to take this amount of water in a short period of time,” he said.
- With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube and Katherine Dow.