Evacuees wait to return home as Brandon faces one-in-300-year flood
Published Tuesday, May 10, 2011 6:40PM CST
The rise of the Assiniboine River in Brandon has reached levels not seen in centuries, said provincial officials.
"In Brandon, we're estimating we are at a one-in-300-year flood," said Steve Ashton, the province's emergency measures minister.
For those residents affected by evacuation orders, it could be a number of days before they're able to return home, with some officials saying it could take up to two weeks.
"We will not bring people back until we're comfortable that their safety is taken care of," said Brian Kayes from the City of Brandon.
About 1,000 evacuees are staying with family, friends or in hotels.
"It's just the anxiety -- the being unsettled and not knowing what's going to happen," said Jack Phillips, an evacuee.
Many businesses were also being affected, with many stores in a shopping area located near the Assiniboine River closing their doors.
More than 100 Canadian Forces reservists are assisting alongside provincial and city crews, helping reinforce dikes along the Assiniboine River.
"We're Brandonites. We're people that live here and we wanted to help," said Lt.-Col. Ross Thompson, commanding officer with the 26th Field Regiment.
The province said the river in Brandon is near its crest and officials don't expect the rain in the forecast will impact it.
City officials said Tuesday the situation is under control and no further evacuations are needed at this time.
"The work will continue at that urgent pace, but, again, we're on top of it," said Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst.
Evacuations have, however, caused some issues for mail delivery.
People who have had to leave their homes can go to the main post office in Brandon, at 914 Douglas Street, to pick up their mail, said Canada Post. Grand Valley Road residents can also head to the main post office to pick up mail.
- with a report from CTV's Josh Crabb