There are concerns surrounding the management of the clean up near Alonsa, Man. following the deadly EF-4 tornado that tore through rural properties and a beach-side campground last weekend.

Bill Ralph was staying on Margaret Bruce Beach in a camper with his family. He and 14 others took shelter in the basement of a cabin that had its roof and walls ripped off.

Ralph’s pick-up truck ended up in the lake, his camper and trailer were destroyed.

“It was somewhat frustrating to see Christian Aid Ministries and other charities struggling to clean up this massive amount of debris where there was no government helping, said Ralph in a phone call with CTV News Saturday.

“Does the municipality have a disaster management plan?” he said.

Ralph is also concerned about security following the disaster and doesn’t know why the area wasn’t sealed off immediately.

“People were parking, walking up and down and the beach and people were picking up and taking stuff,” said Ralph.

“Someone dropped the ball on security,” said Ralph.

Rural Municipality of Alonsa Reeve Stan Asham said there's been a delay with cleanup because the tornado hit on a Friday night and people were not available over the weekend.

Asham said security guards have been watching over the area since Wednesday evening and the RM has asked the province for help.

"We don't know how to clean up the lake, we need people to do that for us, it's not like we haven't been trying to pressure them,” he said Saturday.


In a statement to CTV News the Manitoba Government said a number of provincial departments and agencies including Manitoba EMO, Sustainable Development, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, and Manitoba Agriculture are working with the rural municipality on the clean up as a priority and with proper assessment and analysis.

“Provincial staff are assessing hazards and will provide advice to the RM on proper waste and hazmat disposal,” it said.

The government said Sustainable Development staff conducted an initial assessment of damage earlier this week and the clean-up of the beach area only is scheduled to begin Saturday, and weather permitting, a lakebed (under the water) assessment will be done.

“Nothing is “waiting” to be cleaned; rather, proper assessments are being done to determine scope and scale to ensure public safety, protection of the environment and to enable future use of the land, beach and the lake. This will be followed by development of plans, resourcing, coordination with stakeholders, and execution.” 

“Christian Aid Ministries Canada deployed its rapid response unit from the Fort Francis area and connected with associated Manitoba volunteers. Their work on behalf of the community and its impacted residents is nothing short of outstanding.”

The government said responsibility for assessment, planning and resourcing clean-up in a municipality rests with the local authority and the land owners.

“The RM understands this and has communicated as much to the province. While the RM has not requested any support from the province for clean-up, it is collaborating with Sustainable Development on park, beach, shoreline, and lake clean-up.”