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July 2nd, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

  • The City of Brandon is preparing for an increase in Assiniboine River levels in the coming days. We have had 251mm of rain in the month of June and 138 mm from June 27 – 30.
  • We have had overland flooding issues in several parts of the City, including along Park Avenue East, at the City of Brandon Wastewater Treatment Facility, over the main access road to the Brandon Municipal Airport, and many other areas.
  • Brandon City Council declared a State of Local Emergency on the afternoon of Sunday, June 29th. We are still gathering information to prepare to request disaster financial assistance on behalf of the City and its residents and that will be dealt with by Council on Monday, July 7th.
  • We have had 48 hours without significant rain and this has allowed our system to recover substantially and we have some capacity now if there should be another rain storm. However, we recognize the amount of water in the entire watershed and are now preparing for a rapid increase in river levels. We have decided to prepare for a level that is 5 to 6 feet higher. The current river level is 1,175.37 feet above sea level, measured at First Street.
  • Our dike system has been improved since our flood of record in 2011. The dikes have been raised 2’ higher than 2011 water levels, which peaked at 1,182.89 feet above sea level, measured at First Street. There are also areas along the dikes where there was seepage has been professionally engineered and constructed to deal with the seepage issue. The manholes on the sewer line that goes under the river have all been sealed and have been protected. Staff are going to double check the height of the dikes to ensure nothing has been compromised.
  • In the coming days, the City of Brandon’s Emergency Response Group will be taking some action along the dike system. The clay dike along 18th Street will be extended across Grand Valley Road to its full height. The dike at the corner of 18th Street and Kirkcaldy Drive will be closed, and a dike will be installed across Conservation Drive.
  • We are closing 7 storm sewer outflows along Kirkcaldy Drive. We had 5 pumps, have ordered 6 pumps to deal with the rain and have ordered an additional 12 pumps which should arrive today.
  • We have 1, 500 sandbags prepared and plan on making an additional 5,000 with 10,000 empty bags coming from Winnipeg.
  • A general public enquiry line has been set up at 204-729-2186.
  • If volunteers are required at some point, a request will be issued through the media.
  • Many people in southwestern Manitoba have experienced fallen trees or have rain water in buildings as a result of the recent heavy rains and some require additional help in cleaning up. Two faith-based relief organizations – the Mennonite Disaster Relief Service and the Christian Aid Ministries - have offered to provide some volunteer resources in the form of labour to those in need, with a focus on those are uninsured, elderly, or do not have their own clean-up resources. They can be contacted at 1-800-231-9916.
  • The City of Brandon intends to request the Province of Manitoba begin a disaster financial assistance program relating to the weekend storm. Part of the process includes reporting the details of what happened during the storm event. To help the City of Brandon get an accurate picture of the property damage associated with the storm, residents who have experienced basement flooding, property flooding or damage related to downed trees are asked to let the City know. An automated City of Brandon Information Mailbox has been set up at 204-729-2438. Residents are asked to call and leave their name, phone number, physical property address and specific details relating to their damage.
  • The Brandon Emergency Alerting Program runs a test of the City’s emergency siren program on the first Wednesday of every month at 4:40 p.m. This test will occur today as scheduled but DOES NOT mean there is an emergency occurring.
  • A ward meeting for North end residents and businesses will be held at 5:30 p.m. today at the Riverbank Discovery Centre.