Canadians Flee Flood Threat

<i> Reuters</i>

The province of Manitoba declared a state of emergency Tuesday as more than 3,200 residents were ordered to flee their homes and 20,000 others were warned of possible evacuation orders in coming days.

“There is the potential for the entire valley to be evacuated and we are working with all the communities in the valley. There are close to 20,000 Manitobans living in the Red River Valley,” provincial Premier Gary Filmon told reporters.

Police reported the first Canadian death linked to the flooding: 4-year-old Kevin Michael Maendel of the New Rosedale Hutterite Colony near Portage-la-Prairie. He drowned in a culvert along the Assiniboine River, which drains into the Red.


The emergency declaration allows provincial officials to commandeer private property, put nonemergency workers to work on flood projects, ban travel and forcibly evacuate people.

Winnipeg, the provincial capital, has more than 630,000 residents. Emergency officials said that, although southern Manitoba communities were at high risk, a massive crescent-shaped ditch around Winnipeg should be able to divert the flood waters from the city.