Flooding threat forces 107 people from their homes on Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Veronica Prysiazniuk says she was given a couple of hours on Saturday to gather her pets and some belongings before fleeing rising flood waters.

Over the weekend, 107 people were forced from their homes in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba by threats from ice-jam related flooding on the Saskatchewan River.

"We have all our animals, that's all we are concerned about," Prysiaziuk said, adding rain and snow didn't help conditions.

"Everything is just material right? It can be replaced. Even our home can be replaced. It will probably take a while but, you know what? We are prepared for the worst, actually."

Evacuees were taken to The Pas, Man., to stay in hotels. Prysiaziuk said her animals are staying in a camper near the hotel. She and her husband check in on them.

"It's stressful for us because, you know, we are displaced but at the same time we are thanking OCN and the Red Cross for coming to give us accommodations and looking after our food needs and anything else," she said. "So you know, it's just a wait-and-see game."

Prysiaziuk moved to the area in 2002 and although eight of the years since have been flood years, this is her first time having to leave her house.

"The danger right now is the ice because it's jamming up … the water is needing to go somewhere, so it's going around the ice jams," she said.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation is the latest Manitoba First Nation to be hit by floodwaters. The Red Cross is already providing services to evacuees from Peguis First Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, Canupawapka Dakota First Nation and Waywayseecappo First Nation.

On Sunday, the province warned people with properties on Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, Pelican Lake and Dauphin Lake, to move items near the shoreline back because of strong winds and shoreline ice pileup.

The Red River continues to drop and was 16.8 feet at James Avenue on Sunday. The lower Assiniboine River was expected to drop to 14,000 cfs by Monday.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation is located about 520 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.