'It has to stop': High lake levels have Whiteshell residents concerned
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:36PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:39PM CST
MANITOBA -- Communities in eastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario are closely watching lake levels.
Manitoba’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre tells CTV News, lakes in the Whiteshell have reached record highs for this time of year.
A flood warning is in effect.
Cottager Bob Harbottle has been coming to the West Hawk Lake area since 1958.
“This is the highest we’ve had water in the fall,” Harbottle said.
On Tuesday, water swept into boat houses and waves lapped over beach benches that are normally metres away from the edge of the water.
Harbottle fears what will happen when all the high water freezes then melts.
“The risk is in the springtime, when the ice breaks up, because that thick ice now with the high water level up can do damage,” he said.
On Caddy Lake, docks and beaches have been swallowed up by the water, but in some parts of the region the flooding situation has improved compared to last week.
Environment Canada said eastern Manitoba received about triple the normal amount of rain in September. Then came the October storm, which brought even more precipitation.
It said Falcon Lake received 13 mm of rain since Monday night and West Hawk Lake 10 mm. But the rain and snow should end by Wednesday night.
“It has to stop because we can’t take anymore,” said Harbottle.
On Provincial Road 312, locals said the water has receded and vehicles are able to drive through once again.
In northwestern Ontario, high water has crept up to bridges and docks.
“I was talking to a guy yesterday that was in his 80s. He’s never seen the water this high, and if you look on the rocks you can see marks above the water line,” said Kenora resident Mike Power.
The Province of Manitoba said water levels have stabilized in the Whiteshell and are expected to slowly decline if the rain and snow tapers off.
It said the all-time record high for water levels in the area was set in summer of 2016. The current level is close, but hasn’t surpassed it.