Friday, April 24, 2009

Red River Flood

i spent my workweek at the Flood Relief Centre here in Winnipeg. i was one of the paper pushers working for the Manitoba Government trying to help the thousands of people who have been displaced by the Red River. the Red has expanded so much that it has covered a massive corridor of water through much of Manitoba anywhere near the Red.

i've heard me some stories though, unfortunately i'm bound by some confidentiality stuff and i can't elaborate. suffice it to say that the currents are wild, the water is deep and many people don't know what to do.

there's lots of stress over this. people literally watch as their house becomes an island and the only thing holding back complete devastation is a whole whack of sandbags.

there are stories of 40 deer standing together on a small patch of land because the entire forest habitat is under 10 feet of water (and i'm not exaggerating) with currents that can knock you off your feet and sweep you away to complete and certain death. there was a news story today about a flock of bison stranded in a field, they're fine and they got "relocated".

it's an interesting debate. flooding in Southern Manitoba has been worse ever SINCE the ditch system was created to preserve the city of Winnipeg. the philosophy is that you have to sacrifice the few in order to preserve the many. thousands have to endure immense stress made worse because hundreds of thousands don't have to endure the stress any longer. those folks can all make claims for some disaster relief down the road and many argue that they should just accept that they live in a flood plain. that very flood plain was made worse so that we who live in Winnipeg wouldn't have to endure what our brothers must endure.

what's the answer? there are certainly some frustrated and angry people out here ... and they have a point.

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