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River keeps rising, so stay out of it

Brandonites were starting to clean up Sunday morning, after a huge storm the night before.

MEGAN LANE / BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Brandonites were starting to clean up Sunday morning, after a huge storm the night before.

The Assiniboine River keeps rising in Brandon.

The city said this morning that the river was measured at 1,182.64 feet above sea level, as measured at 8 a.m. at First Street.

That's up three inches from yesterday evening, but still slightly below the record level of 2011.

Brian Kayes, the city's emergency coordinator, said Sunday morning that some water was seeping through the dike at Grand Valley Road, and water was coming through a manhole at 17th Street East, but neither were a concern.

"There will continue to be water running out (the 17th Street East manhole), but we have pumps in place that are managing this," Kayes says. CP Rail helped the city out by providing an extra pump in the area, he said, and the city has ordered another half-dozen pumps.

Some water is also coming through the asphalt at 18th Street and Kirkcaldy Drive.

"This is exactly what happened in 2011," Kayes said, adding that pumps would be placed there too much water started seeming though. "We're not concerned about that."

Last night's storm did not impact the dike, he added. About 38 mm of rain fell in just 15 minutes, according to Environment Canada, with winds up to 80 km/h.

"Any of the water that was observed in the streets last evening was rain water," he said. "We would expect that to happen because we've blocked the outflows to the river … It looks bad, but the system actually recovered in good order."

More than 150 calls came in to 911 about downed trees blocking traffic. Eight to 10 of them were blocking city streets. 

The city has arborists out today, dealing with the cleanup, but they may be working as quickly as possible to clear trees and leaving them for cleanup later.

Residents are asked to stay away and let the workers do their work rather than "putting around, getting a good look," Kayes said.

Some of the work will be street sweepers, who will be out clearing gravel from the streets so that it doesn't clog storm sewers. Brandon mayor Shari Decter Hirst said that residents could help out by clearing catch basins themselves, but she asked that people not put twigs and gravel back on the boulevards, because they would just wash back into the street. 

Meanwhile, police have laid a tresspassing charge — which carries a $113 fine — after someone again went swimming at Dinsdale Park on Saturday.

Because police weren't sure about their safety, firefighters were called in on a Zodiac for a potential resuce.

The hot weather is no excuse, said police Sgt. Larry Yanick.

"Do not go down to the river to cool off. There are a number of public swimming areas in Brandon," he said.

"Hook up your hose and sprinkler and run through the back yard, but do not go down to the river."

 

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