Hundreds of Peguis First Nation members flee their homes as Fisher River floods community

Flooding has forced hundreds of people living in Peguis First Nation from their homes after local officials issued a mandatory evacuation order on Sunday.

A total of 920 people are now in hotels in Winnipeg.

Chief Glenn Hudson said he had never seen such severe flooding.

“It’s worse than the 2011 flood, which was a huge event for us in terms of flooding, but I think it’s probably one of the worst on record,” he told Marcy Markusa, host of CBC Manitoba’s morning radio show. news radio.

The community of Interlake, 160 kilometers north of Winnipeg, is the most populous First Nation in the province with approximately 11,000 members, 4,800 of whom live in the community.

The Interlake and east of Lake Winnipeg regions received an average of 30 to 50 millimeters of precipitation over the weekend, following a month of massive rain and snowfall that has already saturated the ground,” said Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure.

Over the weekend, ice jams at the mouth of the Fisher River caused water levels to rise behind them and flow down roads, flooding the community despite sandbagging efforts and the deployment of filled Tiger dams of water.

A Tiger Dam barrier protects a home threatened by flooding on Peguis First Nation. Chief Glenn Hudson says this year’s flooding could be the worst the community has ever seen. (Peguis First Nation/Facebook)

“There have been many homes that have been breached,” Hudson said.

There are 480 homes surrounded by floodwaters near the Fisher River, he said.

Other houses in outlying areas have been cut off by flooding on the roads. There are at least six roads that are inaccessible due to flooding, Hudson said.

“Where the roads have been cut, people cannot get out,” he said.

“So as far as emergency services like ambulance, fire, etc., RCMP, those roads are completely cut off. »

Buses transported people out of the community and into Winnipeg.

Hundreds of Peguis First Nation members flee their homes as
Several roads in Peguis First Nation were flooded. (Peguis First Nation/Facebook)

A spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross told CBC News that Peguis is the only community it is currently helping with evacuation.

Hudson said the community had done its best in its evacuation efforts, but was taken by surprise after initial forecasts showed little risk of severe flooding.

“I know I’ve had a lot of calls and text messages from people telling me they’re afraid of the water, because they’ve obviously never seen this level of event before. »

The province of Manitoba’s first flood bulletin to warn of flooding on the Fisher River was released on Friday.

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