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Latest Flood FAQ's

Emergency Social Services FAQ's

Contact Information

Reception Centre: 726-3529 Westman Crisis Services: 725-4411
Enquiry Centre: 729-2186 Health Links: 1-888-315-9257
Evacuation Allowances: 1-877-655-0502 www.brandonrha.mb.ca
Red Cross Registration/Registration updates: 1-888-662-3211 www.brandon.ca

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Protection from water damage and sewer backup

River flooding


Snowmelt on property

Overland flooding

(e.g., overflowing water from ditches and plugged catch basins)

Emergency Social Services FAQ's

Why did they tell me I had to leave my home?

The water levels that we were expecting were placing lots of stress on the dike and sewer and water system so to keep you safe you were asked to leave your home.

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Why was I evacuated when the houses on the other side of the river were not evacuated?
The City was having more trouble managing the south side of the dike and in the event that the dike failed, the water on the will be much deeper on the south side.

If I need help or answers are there interpreters available?

We have many volunteer interpreters so one will be available if you need it.

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Where do I go for help?

The Reception Centre in the Keystone Centre’s Canada Room (1175 18th Street) is open as follows:

  • Friday, May 20 (12:00 – 7:00pm)
  • Saturday, May 21 (9:00am – 4:00pm)
  • Sunday, May 22 (1:00 – 4:00pm)
  • Monday, May 23 (1:00 – 4:00pm)
  • Tuesday, May 24 – Friday, May 27 (4:00 – 7:00pm)

Reception Centre volunteers can help you with the following:

  • lodging for you and your pet
  • evacuation allowance issuances
  • child care (daytime and after-school)
  • pet care (daytime)
  • healthcare inquiries
  • counseling services
  • first aid services
  • information on employment services
  • information on free or low-cost recreational programs
  • information on free events

The Enquiry Centre can answer questions and provide contact information for most questions you might have. Enquiry Centre hours of operation are 8:00am – 6:00pm daily.

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Can I get things from home?

Yes you need to call 729-2186 and ask to go into your home. They will ask you for your name, phone number, home address, and what you need from the home. They will then place you on a list that allows you to go home and get essential items. Once on the list you need to go to the former Aunt Sarah’s / Chicken Chef parking lot, 200 18th Street North. A police officer will confirm your name is on the list and then will take you to your house, wait while you get what you need and take you out of the evacuated area.

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Can I go home and clean my house and yard?

No you are only allowed home by police escort so you must be very quick and only get items you need from the house.

When can I move home?

We do not know an exact date as it depends on the river height and speed, the stability of the dike and the sewer and water system. Right now it seems you will be able to go home near the end of May. We are trying to get you home as soon as possible but we have to wait till it is safe.

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How will I know when I can go home?

This information is distributed in many ways:

  • Daily flood updates are announced on CKLQ at 10:30 am.
  • Media releases sent to all media outlets (radio, tv, and newspaper).
  • On our website. www.brandon.ca and click on EmergNet.
  • Bulletin boards in all the hotels where evacuees are staying

Am I entitled to money?

If you live in the evacuated area you are entitled to evacuation allowances that include money for food, lodging (either at a home of a friend/relative or in a hotel) and miscellaneous items. You can go to the Reception Centre or phone 1-877-655-0502 for more information.

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Why did I get money?

People who are evacuated from their homes are entitled to money for food, housing and incidentals to help them with costs while they are away from their home. To apply for the money you can go to the Reception Centre or phone 1-877-655-0502 for more information.

Will I have to pay back the evacuation allowances I received?

No the evacuation allowances are yours to help with the costs while you are away from home.

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Can I go out of town for a visit while I am evacuated?

Yes you can do whatever you would have done while living at home.

When does Kirkcaldy School Open?

No date has been established for opening Kirkcaldy School. The Brandon School Division will inform parents directly once a date has been established.Top of page

Can I drive on 18th Street?

Yes, vehicle traffic is permitted on 18th Street except for semi-trucks, however, due to traffic congestion, we strongly encourage people to stay away from the river area on 18th Street.

Is there compensation for homes that got water in their basement?

There are programs that provided compensation for flood related damage but you need to apply. You can phone 729-2226 for more information or visit the City of Brandon’s Treasury Department located on the main floor of 410 9th Street to pick up the application forms.

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Is my home safe without me in it?

Yes all the entrances to the evacuated area have security or police officers guarding them. There are also regular checks of the entire area.

Where do I wash my clothes while staying in the hotel?

Laundry can be done at Wheat City Laundry located at 739 – 17th Street or Rosser Avenue Laundry at #3 – 1502 Rosser Avenue. There will be no cost for evacuees who present their Red Cross registration number.

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Is the water in Brandon and in my house safe to drink?

Yes the water is tested regularly and it is at very good quality

Is there money I can get to help me pay my bills? I worked at one of the businesses that was evacuated and they did not pay me while they were closed.

The United Way has set up a fund to help people who experienced this. To apply download the Emergency Relief form at www.brandonuw.caor phone 571-8929 or visit their office at #201-1011 Rosser Ave. If you need immediate assistance call provincial income assistance at 726-6438.

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I’m not in the evacuation zone. Where can I take my used sandbags?

Depots have been established for the deposit of used sandbags. These are:
1. Conservation Drive (South of Kirkcaldy Drive)
2. The rear of the Civic Services Complex at 900 Richmond Avenue East (off Douglas Street)
Additional depots will be established in the evacuated areas once re-entry is permitted. The locations will be posted on this website.

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Flood FAQ's

Why is a portion of Kirkcaldy Drive still closed?

Due to the high river levels, the storm sewer outflows into the river are still blocked and when it rains, it is necessary to pump the rain water over the dike. Our pumps are strategically placed along Kirkcaldy Drive and portions of the pipe lay across the road which causes a dangerous situation for both our pump operators for servicing and the public. The pumps must stay in place until we can unblock the outflows. This means that Kirkcaldy to Patterson Cres. will remain closed until the river levels come down enough to unblock the outflows and remove the pumps. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

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Why is there water leaking across 1st Street?

Some seepage is being experienced under the giant sandbags on a portion of 1st Street. This is normal and was to be expected. The pool of water situated in the meridian between the north and south bound lanes of 1st Street is not problematic at this time and will be pumped if the need arises.

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Now that the Flood Liaison office is closed where can I call for flood information?

If any member of the public would like to contact the Winnipeg Flood Liaison Office, the number is 1-866-626-4862. Local enquiries pertaining to flood related matters can be directed to City of Brandon Enquiry Line at 729-2186.

What about the water seeping through the large sandbags?

The seepage and minor ponding you see near the large sandbags at 1st and 18th Streets north is anticipated and is quite normal. Crews from Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation are monitoring this situation and pumping the water back over the sandbags as required.

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Are the built-up dikes going to hold back the flood waters?

The dikes have been built up to increased heights to contend with this year’s high water levels and are being monitored by City crews 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure there are no problems at any point in the dike.

How long is the high water levels in the river going to remain?

Once the river crests, the high river levels are expected to remain for several weeks thereafter before they start to go down.

When do I register at the reception centre?

Registration is not required unless there is an order to evacuate. At that time, evacuees must register in person at the reception centre which will be set up in the Canada Room at the Keystone Centre or people can register by phone through the Red Cross if they do not require any other services offered at the Reception Centre.

Why do I have to register at a reception centre?

All evacuees must register so that they can be accounted for. Also, evacuees must be registered in order to receive Provincial living allowances. You can apply for these allowances at the time of the evacuation at the Provincial Building or make a claim with the Province after the event has ended.

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Why does the City have to declare a State of Local Emergency?

Upon the declaration of, and during a state of local emergency, the City may issue an order to any party to do everything necessary to prevent or limit loss of life and damage to property or the environment, including:

  • implement emergency plans
  • utilize any real or personal property considered necessary to prevent, combat or alleviate the effects of any emergency or disaster
  • authorize or require any qualified person to render aid of such type as that person may be qualified to provide
  • control, permit or prohibit travel to or from any area or on any road, street or highway
  • cause the evacuation of persons and the removal of livestock and personal property and make arrangements for the adequate care and protection thereof
  • control or prevent the movement of people and the removal of livestock from any designated area that may have a contaminating disease
  • authorize the entry into any building, or upon any land without warrant
  • cause the demolition or removal of any trees, structure or crops in order to prevent, combat or alleviate the effects of an emergency or a disaster
  • authorize the procurement and distribution of essential resources and the provision of essential services
  • regulate the distribution and availability of essential goods, services and resources
  • provide for the restoration of essential facilities, the distribution of essential supplies and the maintenance and co-ordination of emergency medical, social and other essential services
  • expend such sums as are necessary to pay expenses caused by the emergency.
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Which Level of Government Do I Contact?

Contact your municipal office about:

  • preparing for a flood – what to do to protect your property
  • getting sandbags and volunteers to build dikes
  • information about emergency evacuation orders
  • evacuation – where to go, help with evacuating
  • local road closures and detours
  • pumping water out of basements
  • concerns about dikes failing or needing to be raised
  • draining water from buildings and property
  • digging ditches for drainage
  • access to diked property during evacuation
  • when it’s safe to return to your property
  • applications for Disaster Financial Assistance program

For a list of municipal offices and their phone numbers, go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/imr/mr/contactus/index.html

Contact the Manitoba government about:

Visit the Manitoba government’s flood website at manitoba.ca or call 1-866-Manitoba.

Contact Health Links-Info Santé 24-hour phone line or your local RHA about:

  • any health issues caused by flooding or evacuation

Call: 204-788-8200 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-888-315-9257.
Hours: 24 hours/seven days a week.
For a list of RHAs and their phone numbers, go to: http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/rha/contact.html

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I noticed the super sandbags along 18th Street and 1st Street, why are they so high?

The Super Sandbags are set up in two rows, one on top of the other around the 1st and 18th street bridges are designed to take the potential worst case high water. The bottom row is designed to take the potential worst case high water. The top row set is to allow for "free-board" (wave action); 2 to 3 feet of freeboard that was achieved by adding a second Super Sandbag.

Is it anticipated that the water will get as high as the super sandbags?

No, This was the most efficient way to add a generous level of freeboard and does not indicate an increase in the outlook levels for the Assiniboine river.

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With the possibility of a flood are there certain steps I can take to prepare me and my family?

An evacuation alert can happen with very little notice therefore having an evacuation plan is very important.

  • Make arrangements to stay with family or friends
  • Make plans for the care and transport of your pets
  • Prepare a Family Emergency Supplies Kit to take with you
  • Pay attention to the media for updated information
  • Move any valuables and important documents to an upper level
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What Should I do to safeguard my home and property from overland flooding?

Some precautions that you should take are:

  • move snow away from your foundation
  • ensure the snowmelt has a clear path to drain away from your foundation and can follow the normal drainage path off your property
  • ensure downspout extensions are in place
  • ensure water from your sump pump is directed away from your foundation
  • place sandbags around your foundation where snowmelt could enter, such as around basement windows - place the bags far enough away from your foundation (at least two feet) so that you can ensure that snowmelt doesn't collect between the foundation and the sandbags
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Does the City of Brandon provide sandbags to the public?

Yes, sandbags are available for homeowners and businesses from the Civic Services Complex at 900 Richmond Avenue East. Citizens are allowed up to 50 sandbags, request for more bags will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Sandbags are supplied at the administration office and are available for pick up during office hours from 8:00 to 4:30, Monday to Friday. Citizens are required to fill their own sandbags.

Can sandbags freeze?

Sandbags are less effective for water protection if they are frozen therefore, it is recommended that they be filled in warmer temperatures or stored in a warm location.

How many sandbags can I obtain?

Citizens are allowed up to 50 sandbags, request for more bags will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

How do I know if I need to evacuate?

If the alerting siren goes off in your area, turn on the radio to a local station and listen for further instructions. You will be advised by the Brandon Police Service when it is necessary to evacuate. Ignoring such a warning could jeopardize the safety of your family or those who may eventually have to come to your rescue.

If I need to evacuate, what should I take with me?

Take your Family Emergency Supplies Kit
Take family identification and important legal documents
Take essential medicines and personal health items

What should I do if I see children playing around the river or standing water?

If you see children playing near the river or any dangerous water, please call 911. Please keep your children away from the river and any standing water. Never cross a flooded area, fast water could sweep you away.

How do I know if my backwater valve works?

It is the property owners responsibility to have their backwater valve checked annually by a professional.

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Protection from water damage and sewer backup

What steps can I take to protect my home and contents?

There are many things you can do:

  • Arrange for a licensed plumber to install a backwater valve on a sewer line in the basement of your home. This device, if properly installed, automatically closes if sewage backs up from the main sewer. A backflow prevention device installed in the floor drain is not a Manitoba Plumbing Code approved backwater valve.
  • Install a sump pit drainage system (includes a sump pit, a sump pump and a pump discharge pipe).
  • Check and maintain your backwater valve and sump pit drainage system regularly.
  • Don't drain water from your sump pump into your floor drain. Not only is it illegal, it increases the risk of basement flooding for you and your neighbours. The sewer system is designed to manage only normal flows of wastewater, not sump pump water. Keep the end of the hose well away from your property line so that water does not flow onto the street, lane, boulevard, sidewalk, or your neighbour's property.
  • Improve drainage around your house.
  • Build up the ground around your house so that water flows away from your basement walls. Also examine sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways. These can settle over time and cause water to drain back towards your basement walls.
  • Extend downspouts so that water flows away from your house and doesn't pool next to the basement walls or basement windows. If your downspouts are connected to your home's sewer system, disconnect them.
  • Clean debris from eavestroughs regularly. If they overflow even when clean, replace them with larger size eavestroughs and downspouts.
  • Don't throw garbage down your sinks or toilets. Garbage (e.g., dental floss, diapers, cotton swabs) that gets into your sewer through your drains can clog your sewer and cause sewer backup.
  • Avoid pouring fat, oil, and grease down your drain. Grease hardens as it cools and sticks to the inner lining of sewer pipes, eventually causing a blockage.
  • Prop appliances such as washers, dryers and freezers off the floor by putting blocks of wood under them so they don't get damaged by water. It is common for backups to be less than a few inches of water.
  • Don't store belongings in paper boxes on the floor in the basement. Store them on a shelf or in plastic totes.
  • Don't put grass clipping, leaves or other debris on the streets as they can plug the drains and prevent proper drainage, particularly during heavy rainfalls. Plugged drains cause water to build up on the street, which could cause water to drain into the sewer system through manhole covers and increase your risk of basement flooding. If you notice a plugged drain, contact the Operations Division.
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River Flooding

How will I know if I need a sandbag dike to protect my home from river flooding

The City’s plan is to raise the dike, to plug storm sewer outflows, to seal manhole covers and to pump collected melt and rain water over the dike into the river. With this plan, there should be no need for diking of individual properties.

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Can I reuse the sandbags or the sand after the risk of river flooding is over?

River water contains bacteria. If the river water has touched the sandbags, we don't recommend you reuse the sand or the sandbags. We recommend you take them to a designated drop off for disposal.

Where can I find the current river levels?

On our river levels at 1st Street page.

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Snowmelt on Property

Snowmelt from my yard is approaching my foundation. What steps can I take to prevent the snowmelt from seeping into my basement?

  • move snow away from your foundation
  • ensure the snowmelt has a clear path to drain away from your foundation and can follow the normal drainage path off your property
  • ensure downspout extensions are in place
  • ensure water from your sump pump is directed away from your foundation
  • place sandbags around your foundation where snowmelt could enter, such as around basement windows - place the bags far enough away from your foundation (at least two feet) so that you can ensure that snowmelt doesn't collect between the foundation and the sandbags
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Do you deliver sandbags to help prevent snowmelt from getting into my basement?

No. However, we will have sandbags available for pick-up by Brandon residents only when there is a threat of flooding.

Can I reuse the sandbags or the sand after the risk of snowmelt seepage is over?

If the sandbag has not come into contact with any contaminated material (e.g., sewage, animal waste), you can reuse the sand or sandbags.

Where can I dispose of the sandbags once I no longer need them?

The City will have designated drop off zones for sandbag disposal. This information will be posted on the web site.

There is water in my basement from snowmelt. Do you have a pump I can borrow?

No. We don't lend out pumps as we only have enough pumps for our work. We recommend you contact a licensed plumber.

What steps can I take to prevent water from seeping into my basement in the future?

We recommend you improve the drainage around your foundation so that rain, sump pump water and snowmelt drains away from your home.


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Overland flooding

(e.g., overflowing water from ditches and plugged catch basins))

How will I know if I need sandbags to protect my home from overland flooding?

Based on past experience and talking to your neighbors, determine if it makes sense to place a few sandbags in strategic places such as basement windows. The weather will have a bearing on how much spring runoff there is. Continue to monitor your property or if you plan to be away make arrangements to have someone do it for you.

Overflowing water is creeping up my property toward my home. Do you deliver sandbags to help prevent water from getting into my basement?

No. However, we will have sandbags available for pick-up by Brandon residents only when there is a threat of flooding.

 

Can I reuse the sandbags or the sand after the risk of overland flooding is over?

If the sandbag has not come into contact with any contaminated material (e.g., sewage, animal waste), you can reuse the sand or sandbags.

Where can I dispose of the sandbags once I no longer need them?

The City will have designated drop off zones for sandbag disposal. This information will be posted on the web site.

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Is the flood threat over?

We believe that the worst has already past, however we continue to monitor the activity of the Assiniboine River basin very closely. The Assiniboine River can fluctuate anywhere from a few centimeters to a meter depending on what is happening upstream (rainfall, release from the Shellmouth dam etc.). We can expect this fluctuation in levels to occur throughout the summer.

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When will the sandbags come down on 1st Street and 18th Street?

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation will be working on removing the sandbags to open up Grand Valley Road (PR 459) in the next couple weeks. The rest of the sandbags will be removed towards the end of August as resources are available.

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Can we boat on the river?

It is not recommended that anyone be on or near the river but there are no restrictions at his time. Please be aware that the flows are still unusually high and there may be some unexpected debris in the water which can be dangerous. To put the flows into perspective, normal flow when the water is within the banks is 8200 cfs (cubic feet per second). July 7th flows are 13,045 cfs and flow on May 14th (peak) was approx. 35000 cfs).

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When will the aquadams be removed from the dikes?

Crews will be working throughout the summer to remove the aquadams. Removing these bags is a very labour intensive and time consuming operation. It is much more difficult to drain aquadams than it is to fill them. All aquadams must be washed down and packaged to send back to the Province.

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Where can I find Disaster Financial Assistance information?

Disaster Financial Assistance Program is a provincial program that compensates individuals or businesses that have been impacted by the flood. There is an application process and a list of eligible and non-eligible costs. Please refer to their website for more information call: 204-945-3050 or toll free at 1-888-267-8298.

https://www.gov.mb.ca/emo/recover/home/dfa_home.html