Wind, rain and snow: Manitoba hit hard as winter weather won't let go

·2 min read

WINNIPEG — Manitobans were cleaning up Monday after another weather wallop on the weekend.

A nasty combination of rain, snow and strong winds was the latest blow in a season that has seen the most snow in years and temperatures that have refused to stay above freezing for very long.

"I guess expect the unexpected in Winnipeg," said Tim Smith, who, along with his partner, spent part of the weekend bailing water out of the basement of their home after a sewer backup valve malfunctioned.

"I was running buckets of water out to the street, dumping them, and by the time I could get back, she had already filled up another bucket.

"I got my 10,000 steps for the day in, just ferrying water up and down."

Some other Winnipeg residents placed sandbags around their homes as water rose on streets and lawns.

Winnipeg was hit with 70 millimetres of rain over the weekend. Underpasses were flooded, prompting several roads closures. Closer to the United States border, Altona received 76 millimetres, Environment Canada said.

St. Adolphe, a small community just south of the capital, started extending its dike to keep the water at bay.

In western Manitoba, cooler temperatures meant thick, heavy snow instead of rain. Combined with wind gusts of more than 80 km/h — 100 km/h in Brandon — the weather system broke wood utility poles and brought down power lines.

Manitoba Hydro reported 12,000 people were still without power Monday morning. That dropped to 8,000 by mid-afternoon.

"We're working to get you back on as soon as we can, but there will be challenges still with poor rural roads & water/ice/slush in ditches & overland flooding," the provincial Crown utility posted on social media.

Temperatures dropped Sunday night, turning the water in eastern areas to ice on the roads.

The rain and snow has come during Manitoba's flood season. The government on Saturday activated the Red River Floodway — a 47-kilometre-long channel that diverts water from the river around Winnipeg.

The cooler weather was expected to slow the melt and temporarily reduce the threat of major flooding, the provincial government said, although temperatures are forecast to climb later in the week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2022.

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

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