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July 1st, 2014, 5:00 p.m. - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Brandon, MB – The City of Brandon’s Emergency Response Group is preparing for a sharp influx of water to arrive on the Assiniboine River in the coming days as water from the Qu’Appelle region of Saskatchewan and various tributaries makes its way into Manitoba.

As a result of significant rainfall amounts across a large swath of southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba late last month, Brandon’s Emergency Response Group is preparing the City’s dike system to manage an anticipated river level greater than this spring’s peak. River levels peaked at First Street at 1,176 feet above sea level this spring.River levels, measured at First Street, were sitting at approximately 1,175 feet above sea level earlier today.

Crews will also be blocking several storm sewer outflows in the dike on the north of the Assiniboine River along Kirkcaldy Drive to prevent river water from backing up into the area’s manholes. A dozen additional pumps will also be placed at key areas along the dike system. The newer portion of dike along 18th Street North will have to be closed at the PR 459 (Grand Valley Road) intersection. The road will be closed to traffic in the coming days and filled in with clay. Detours will be put in place. Clay fill will also be used to close the end of the dike in the area of 18th St North and Conservation Drive.

The State of Local Emergency declared by Brandon City Council on June 29th remains in place for the entire City of Brandon. A State of Local Emergency declaration provides the municipality with a number of extraordinary powers to be able to respond to existing or emerging weather threats. That includes actions like entering onto private property, ordering mandatory evacuations, or commandeering heavy machinery or equipment.

Response crews will be monitoring the river forecast and the dike system on an ongoing basis and are ready to react to emerging threats.

Public access to recreational areas along the river, including Dinsdale Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and the Wheat City Golf Course, is strictly prohibited until further notice.

The main access road to the Brandon Municipal Airport (McGill Field) was re-opened to public traffic mid-afternoon on Tuesday after water levels receded enough to make the road passable.

Meanwhile, Victoria Avenue East, from 33rd Street East to the junction of Highway 110 (Eastern Access Route) remains closed due to water over the road.

Updated information will be posted to www.brandon.ca and the City of Brandon’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as it becomes available.