Just two months ago, Chao Shen bought his dream home in the St. Adolphe, Man., And began working to make it a home where he and his wife could start a family.
Now it’s more of a nightmare, with the basement of his new home underwater.
“I feel sad, very sad, because I just bought on March 8 and I spent $ 40,000 on renovations, and now everything is flooded,” he said.
On Friday, Shen returned to his home in the community just south of Winnipeg, after being evacuated from the area due to flooding over land.
He came home to find his entire basement full of water, almost up to the ground floor.
Since the “Flood of the Century” in 1997, all communities in the Red River Valley have been protected by ring embankments.
Shen’s house is located just outside St. Adolphes falls.
He said he had heard of Manitoba’s major flood in 1997, but believed his home would be safe from floods. Now he is worried that he will have to move his house to higher ground.
He is not yet sure if the insurance will cover the damage.
Shen spent much of the last two days trying to pump out water, but could not keep up.
“I just wish the rain could stop,” he said.
Chris Ewen, Mayor of Ritchot County, which includes St. Adolphe, says it’s a challenging time for people in the Red River Valley.
While it avoided the worst of the latest weather system to pass through the province, the region saw some rain on Friday and Saturday.
Wind gusts have also continued in southern Manitoba, which Environment Canada warned on Friday could push up water levels in flood-affected areas.
“We’re seeing a lot of road closures right now, especially with the strong winds we had last night as well. Lots of rubbish on the roads, just dangerous driving around, even on our major thoroughfares, our major highways between communities,” Ewen said in a interview with CBC News Network on Saturday.
To date, 230 households in Ritchot’s RM have received evacuation notices, and about half of the 850 residents affected have left their homes.
“It’s very devastating. And it’s not just physically devastating, it’s an emotionally draining and mentally draining situation,” Ewen said.
“The people who work behind the scenes, they work night and day around the clock to make sure the sandbags go out, to make sure homes are protected. So you know, I can not imagine what most of them go through.”
SE | Nya St. Adolphe residents come home to the flooded basement:
Ritchot’s RM is one of 30 municipalities, not including First Nations, which has declared local state of emergency, a provincial spokesman said on Saturday. It has increased by four since May 9.
To date, community members in Ritchot have filled 150,000 sandbags and worked around the clock to stop the flow of water.
Ewen acknowledged the help from the provincial government, but said much more needed to be done to protect communities like his.
“We need more road infrastructure improvements. We need to raise these roads. We need to increase the height of the mountain dikes and ring dikes around our communities – not just Ritchot, this is everywhere in Manitoba,” Ewen said.
“The province must do more in the future.”
A spokesman for the provincial government said they had previously announced “a significant motorway improvement programs“, and the flood impact will be included in the work on repair projects.
The 30 municipalities in a state of emergency from Saturday, according to the province, are:
- The city of Arborg.
- RM from Armstrong.
- Bifrost – Riverton Township.
- RM from Cartier.
- Clanwilliam – Erickson Municipality.
- RM from Coldwell.
- RM from Dufferin.
- Emerson-Franklin Municipality.
- RM from Ethelbert.
- RM from Fisher.
- RM from Grahamdale.
- RM by Gray.
- RM from Gimli.
- RM from Headingley.
- RM from McCreary.
- RM from Macdonald.
- RM and Montcalm.
- The City of Murder.
- RM from Morris.
- Norfolk municipality Treherne.
- Reynolds Municipality.
- RM in Rhineland.
- RM from Ritchot.
- Pembina municipality.
- RM of St. Laurent.
- RM from Thompson.
- RM from West Interlake.
- RM from Whitemouth.
- City of Winnipeg Beach.
- RM of Woodlands.